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10 August 2023 | Story LACEA LOADER | Photo Supplied
Prof Nicolene
Prof Nicolene Barkhuizen, newly appointed Director of the UFS Business School.

The University of the Free State (UFS) has appointed Prof Nicolene Barkhuizen as Director of its Business School as from 1 November 2023.

Strong network

Prof Barkhuizen holds a PhD in Industrial Psychology from the North-West University and began her academic career as a research assistant at the same institution before gaining lecturing experience at the University of Johannesburg and the University of Pretoria, among others. Currently, she is full professor in the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). She is also the Director of the Centre for Work Performance and Deputy Head of the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management at UJ. 

“Prof Barkhuizen brings a wealth of experience and expertise. She is a globally recognised expert on talent management and one of the country’s leading industrial psychologists. Her management experience in higher education, her extensive publication record, and her drive for excellence makes her the ideal person to lead the UFS Business School to new heights,” says Prof Philippe Burger, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences

Prof Barkhuizen is regarded as the leading author on talent management on the African continent; she is globally recognised for her work in this area and has occupied various executive and senior management positions thus far. She has been part of several national and international teaching and research associations, bodies, and committees and is a member of numerous national and international bodies. 

Research outputs and prestigious acknowledgements 

Prof Barkhuizen’s research outputs to date has resulted in more than 150 accredited research publications, 180 peer-reviewed conference presentations, two books, and eight book chapters. She has also received various prestigious acknowledgements for her research outputs, such as the National Women in Science award for best junior researcher in the field of Social Sciences from the Minister of Science and Technology. She is also well versed in supervising postgraduate research, lecturing, and consulting. 

“I am delighted and excited to be afforded the opportunity to join the vibrant and dynamic UFS team. The UFS Business School's motto to "provide individuals with an exceptional opportunity to Be Worth More” resonated with me immediately, as I am passionate about developing and empowering individuals from all walks of life.  As a result, I am convinced that the UFS Business School is ideally positioned to invest in the talents of today and tomorrow by equipping individuals with the entrepreneurial compass to navigate a VUCA-BANI world to launch sustainable business ventures. We live in a time when there are numerous opportunities to provide innovative and creative solutions for the development of individuals on multiple societal levels. Together with my team, I look forward to expanding and establishing the UFS Business School as the preferred incubator for education that will transform, empower, and sustain the lives of future-fit leaders and societies through business education excellence.

My motto is: “If you want to make a success in life, you need to take at least ten people with you.” Now, more than ever, is the opportunity to invest in education and build a nation on the footprints of knowledge,” she says.

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