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06 March 2020 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Stephen Collett
Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank
Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, presented a public lecture at the UFS on 4 March 2020.

With a 7% fiscal deficit on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projected by the National Treasury for the 2020/21 financial year, it would not take long to arrive at a dangerous level of debt at the rate that South Africa is borrowing. Although the South African Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, does not consider a debt to GDP rate of 60% a disaster, he did express his concern regarding the country’s fiscal deficits being over 6% of the GDP.

Governor Kganyago presented a public lecture at the University of the Free State (UFS) on 4 March 2020, focusing on how we should use macro-economic policy and its role in our economic growth problem.

Unsustainable policies 
South Africa’s fiscal situation is not about tight monetary policy. According to the Governor: “Weak growth is endogenous in our fiscal problems. We cannot keep doing what we are doing and hope that growth will recover and save us. Growth is low, in large part, because of unsustainable policy.”

Avoiding an impending crisis
To address the problem, as a policymaker with more than 20 years’ experience, the Governor suggested that the recommendations made by Minister Tito Mboweni be taken into consideration. “The Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, is a man who says things that are true even when they are unpopular. His message is that we have to reduce spending and he is right to put this at the centre of our macro-economic debate,” said Governor Kganyago.

The state needs a radical economic turnaround strategy which is able to diminish the risk of losing market access and being forced to ask the International Monetary Fund for help. Governor Kganyago is positive that such a reformative tactic would go beyond monetary policy and ensure that the interest bill ceases to claim more of South Africa’s scarce resources. 

News Archive

Postgraduate School opens at UFS
2011-05-19

 
Prof. Maresi Nerad, from Washington university in Seattle, USA
Photo: Stephen Collett

We are celebrating the launch of our new Postgraduate School (PGS) on our Main Campus in Bloemfontein from 16 - 20 May 2011.

In line with national priorities for research-based postgraduate education and the focus of the UFS Academic Turnaround Strategy, the aims of the Postgraduate School are to:

  • improve the quality of postgraduate student research;
  • produce graduates who are global citizens, research literate and able to reflect ethically on the purpose, process and product of research;
  • improve throughput rates of postgraduate students; and
  • make the experience of being a postgraduate at the UFS one which is stimulating, enjoyable and which contributes to the development of the person beyond the limits of her or his discipline(s).

“We hope that the school will be a pleasant place to pursue research scholarship, discuss ideas and relax, and we look forward to welcoming postgraduates and other scholars to the school,” Prof. Neil Roos, Director of the UFS Postgraduate School said.

This significant event in the academic transformation of the university goes hand in hand with the inaugural lecture of Prof. Maresi Nerad. Prof. Nerad’s impressive CV reads amongst others that she has a M.A. (Political Science) at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany and a Ph.D. (Higher Education) at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the founding director of the national Center for Innovation and Research Graduate Education (CIRGE).

As Professor Extraordinary in the UFS’s Postgraduate School, she is bringing more to the table than a world of wisdom and her passion for the postgraduate education. “I can contribute lessons learned from four distinct professional experiences, including 17 years of administrative and scholarly leadership in undertaking the conceptual and practical transformational work of organisational change at two US postgraduate schools, where I worked amongst others to improve the quality of mentoring, shorten the time to doctoral degree, and improve doctoral completion rates.”

She also brings to the UFS her experience as founding and current director of the first research center for studies on graduate education in the world. “It is our mission to discover how best to prepare Ph.D. students to be effective leaders in research and society,” she said.

Prof. Nerad says that she is committed to support and consult with the UFS Postgraduate School. She would particularly encourage the use of research to understand postgraduate education in all its dimensions at the UFS better and to use the evidence-based findings as a base for policy-making and resource allocation.

In reflecting on her vision for the UFS Postgraduate School, Prof. Nerad says that five years from now she hopes to see the UFS having strengthened its position as a major driving force in the national South African postgraduate-education community for internationalising postgraduate education. She is also confident that the UFS will supply increased numbers of skilled postgraduates who are “intellectual entrepreneurs and risk takers with a social consciousness, who have sustainability of the systems of the planet as a core value”.

“Five years from now the PSG will have taken the lead in preparing graduate students who are world citizens,” Prof. Nerad concluded.

 

Presentation on PhD students reveals more than meets the eye

British professor presents a discussion at UFS

Journey from student to scholar

Society will take care of interests

Female academics talk about joys and lessons

Research plus the internet equals the cyber scholar
 


 

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