UFS Rector joins world leaders to galvanise responses to Covid-19

Prof. Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State

Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Francis Petersen, together with other university managers from tertiary education institutions in Europe and Africa, will be part of a webinar series by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (Ruforum), to galvanise collective responses  to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a statement by the UFS, the title of the first webinar in the series is “Learning from a crisis: University leaders’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic”. It will take place on 10 June 2020 from 14:00 until 16:00 East African Standard Time. Professor Christine Dranzoa of Muni University in Uganda will be the moderator.

Prof. Petersen will be part of a panel of four speakers discussing the four main topics, which are: responding to the immediate needs of universities, including staff realignment; dealing with digital divide in the student community; university finances for operations and innovations in a changing landscape; and international students in a crisis moment.

Specific focus areas have been proposed for each panellist in order to learn about each university’s efforts and perspectives.

The other panellists are Prof. Arthur Mol, Rector Magnificus of Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands; Mr Hicham el Habti, Secretary-General of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Ben Guerir, Morocco, and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University in Uganda.

According to Ruforum, the leaders will be galvanising with lessons learnt on how they have been able to confront the immediate challenges and how they are resetting for a long-term perspective in the “new normal”.

Interactions during this webinar will hopefully lead to a consensus for strengthening collective response and how universities can leverage one another for the best practices and resources.”

To register for the webinar go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1Dd4zYpsTHGVCdu1-UhbLg.

Sazly Hartzenberg