University of the Free State (UFS)

Introduction

With its central campus situated in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State province, the UFS is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in South Africa. It opened its doors in 1904 with a mere six students in the Humanities and has since grown to more than 30 000 students spread across six faculties.

About UFS

The University of the Free State (UFS) is increasingly being seen as an exciting scholarship destination, as evidenced by an unprecedented level of interest by academics and students from around the world.

The changes taking place at the university continue to capture the imagination of people everywhere, including the international media and our growing base of international universities.

The UFS is proud to be associated with a new class of honourees. In recent years, honorary doctorates have been awarded to Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, internationally-renowned jurist Justice Richard Goldstone, and US media icon and humanitarian Oprah Winfrey.

One of the reasons for the broader interest in the UFS is our very public commitment to the highest academic standards. In doing so the university pursues a vision of uplifting standards for students and academics alike despite the challenges young people encounter in the school system. We believe strongly that given the opportunity, all young people can achieve the high standards set by our university. This is our academic project.


The UFS remains conscious, however, of its responsibility for public scholarship, for turning ideas into action, for making research count in the lives of ordinary people, and for developing a spirit of service through scholarship among our students, the next generation of leaders in South Africa, on our continent, and in this global, interconnected world. In these pursuits the university seeks to distinguish itself from its competitors. Few universities, for example, make human reconciliation one of the foundations of its new mission. This is our human project.

Foundations and History

With its central campus situated in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State province, the UFS is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in South Africa. It opened its doors in 1904 with a mere six students in the Humanities and has since grown to more than 30 000 students spread across seven faculties.

Bloemfontein is not only the birthplace of major political parties that shaped the political landscape in South Africa; the city has also produced some of the leading minds in teaching, medicine, agriculture, science, theology, economics, management and many other fields. We are particularly proud of the legal minds cultivated in the university and in the city, the home of the Supreme Court of Appeal.


The UFS also has a vibrant campus in the Eastern Free State serving rural students from the immediate area and surrounding provinces, and a smaller South Campus in Bloemfontein that provides alternative access to higher education for promising students who obtained poor marks in their final school examinations.


Values

The following five core values represent deeply held commitments that inform every policy and steer every action:


Superior Scholarship
Human Embrace
Institutional Distinctiveness
Emergent Leadership
Public Service


These values underpin both the Academic Project and the Human Project as the foundation on which the university builds its strategy for the next five years and beyond.

 

Academic and Human Projects

The Academic Project aims to build a strong academic institution marked by distinctiveness in teaching, research and public scholarship. The project includes rigorous academic entrance qualifications for first-time students, elevated standards for the professoriate, the transformation of undergraduate curricula, the investment in interdisciplinary research clusters, the recruitment of world-class professors, and the identification and promotion of “next generation” professors.

Erasmus Mundus at the UFS

The UFS has been part of the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 programme through the Europe & South Africa Partnership for Human Development (EUROSA) projects coordinated by University of Antwerp. Through the EUROSA I and II projects, a total of 15 post graduate students and 5 staff from UFS have benefited from the programme.

The University

The UFS has six faculties:

Economic and Management Sciences
Education
Health Sciences
Humanities
Law
Natural and Agricultural Sciences

UFS Business School

The UFS Business School makes a major contribution towards the development and the delivery of successful business and leadership learning programmes in South Africa. In the competitive MBA market, the UFS Business School stands out among its peers nationally and internationally.

University of the Free State (UFS)

EU-SATURN University Coordinator

Academic Coordinator
Prof. dr. Lucius Botes
Dean, Faculty of Humanities

Institutional Coordinator
Dineo Gaofhiwe-Ingram
Office for International Affairs

Project Assistant
Louise Steyn
Office for International Affairs