Increasing a university’s global visibility

Case Study

Working with University of the Free State in South Africa to build their global visibility for their new Vision 130

We worked with a university in South Africa to build their global visibility as a leading institution in the region, and accelerate and deepen their global partnerships with philanthropy.


In 2022 the University of the Free State launched their new Vision 130 strategy to “renew itself to ensure the retention of [their] vitality and relevance.” The strategy had three key elements: academic excellence, quality and impact; maximum societal impact with sustainable relationships; and a diverse, inclusive and equitable university. 

To reposition itself strategically by 2034, the university understood that philanthropic partnerships and an outward focus for increased global visibility would be key to unlocking its vision.

Our approach

To understand what philanthropic partnerships would be best for achieving UFS’ mission, SIX first mapped UFS’ key priorities, positioning on the continent and assessed its existing relationships with funders.

SIX then conducted a scan of university-philanthropy partnerships across South Africa and the continent more broadly to learn where philanthropy was most active in terms of geography and sectors. 

Using this mapping and research, SIX then connected UFS to funders, networks and events that could have the most impact for UFS in the long-term.

To increase UFS’ visibility and positioning, SIX is also hosting its multi-day global event at UFS in fall 2024.