University of the Free State: Qwaqwa Campus NRF-rated researchers recognised for transdisciplinary research outputs


With focused energy on increasing its research output, the Qwaqwa Campus is steadily growing its reputation as a leading research hub and solidifying its presence in the academic space.

Over the years, the campus has built its research expertise and now has 13 NRF-rated researchers in various disciplines.

National Research Foundation (NRF) rating is a national indicator of research excellence based primarily on the quality and impact of a researcher’s outputs. A successful rating allows a researcher the option of applying for incentive funding from the NRF, the amount of which is directly proportional to their rating, and ratings are allocated based on a researcher’s recent research outputs as perceived by local and international peers.

During a breakfast treat in Clarens earlier this week, Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research and Internationalisation, gave recognition to the lovely work done by the researchers.

Prof Witthuhn’s overarching message focused on the research growth and transdisciplinary and boundary-spanning research work being done on the campus, which has now begun to bear fruit and is also positioning Qwaqwa internationally.

Interdisciplinary research impactful regionally and internationally

Prof Witthuhn said that in a period of nine years, the campus has moved from not having any rated researchers to having dynamic scholars who have grown through the ranks.

“It’s quite fantastic and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved. This is one of the biggest legacies I will leave behind – that we really had a research impact on Qwaqwa.”

She said the campus has been exemplary in doing research work that has a regional impact, but it has attracted international attention and interest as well.

“Being seen internationally – that’s what Qwaqwa is getting right. We are interdisciplinary, but all connected to having a regional impact with an international audience.”

“The Qwaqwa environment is one that stimulates creativity. All these NRF-rated researchers had the space to be creative and pursue what they were interested in, and got the necessary support,” she said.

The NRF-rated researchers are:

-Prof Diana Breshears: Department of Communication
-Prof Rodwell Makombe: Department of English
-Prof R Ocaya: Department of Physics
-Prof Anofi Ashafa: Department of Plant Sciences
-Prof Aliza le Roux: Department of Zoology and Entomology
-Prof Oliver Nyambi: Department of English
-Prof Lehlohonolo Koao: Department of Physics
-Dr Sandy Steenhuisen: Department of Plant Sciences
-Dr Julia Mofokeng: Department of Chemistry
-Prof Peter Taylor: Department of Zoology and Entomology
-Prof Geofrey Mukwada: Department of Geography
-Dr Ruth Wario: Department of Computer Science and Informatics

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.