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Statement: Visit of the Portfolio Committee on Education to the UFS
2005-02-25

The chair of the Portfolio Committee on Education (PCE) Prof Shepherd Mayatula has commended the management of the University of the Free State (UFS) for its positive approach to the incorporation of the Vista and Qwaqwa campuses.

According to a statement issued by the university’s communication section, Prof Mayatula said that while there were outstanding issues to address, a platform had been created through the visit of the portfolio committee for the UFS to find solutions.

Speaking at the end of a visit to the Bloemfontein campus of the UFS, Prof Mayatula said: “You know the issues that exist between the three campuses and you know the solutions. You don’t need recommendations from the Committee.”

Earlier today the PCE held a three-way meeting between the PCE, the management of the UFS and the Vista Task Team, representing staff and students at the Bloemfontein campus of the former Vista University .
 

The Bloemfontein campus of the former Vista University was incorporated into the UFS in January 2004.

The multi-party delegation from the PCE was led by its chairperson, Prof S Mayatula, while the delegation from the UFS was led by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Frederick Fourie, while the Vista Task Team was lead by Mr Paseka Mokoena.

Following a presentation by the Vista Task Team and a presentation by the UFS management, other committee members also commended the UFS for the spirit in which outstanding issues were being handled.

It was indicated by portfolio committee members that other universities have far more serious problems than the UFS, and that some of these universities have also been visited by the PCE. The UFS appears to be on the road to be an important pilot case for incorporations and mergers.

The issues that were discussed during today’s meeting included the following:

  • outstanding issues in the process of incorporating the Bloemfontein campus of the former Vista University into the UFS, including:
  • staff issues and conditions of service
  • issues of student aid and pipeline students
  • governance of the UFS
  • the long term utilisation of Vista as a site

The Rector and Vice-chancellor of the UFS, Prof Fourie, expressed his appreciation for the role played by the Portfolio Committee on Education in bringing about a common understanding of the transformation issues facing the UFS.

Prof Fourie said the Portfolio Committee’s visit was a useful intervention to bring about a sense of urgency in resolving matters affecting the Vista campus as well as the Qwaqwa campus.

Issued by: Mr Anton Fisher
Director: Strategic Communication
Cell: 072-207-8334
Tel: 051-401-2749
25 February 2005

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