From a humble start in 1904, the UFS became a well-known institution, boasting 164 NRF-accredited researchers and 2 521 staff members. Our students can participate in 22 different sport disciplines and study from 671 182 library books, including 14 000 ebooks. Our ever-expanding facilities and knowledge base present many opportunities for scholars to impact locally and globally.

History Then and Now


1904 | Founded as Grey College School with 6 students
1906 | Renamed as Grey University College with 29 students 
1909 | First men’s residence, House Abraham Fisher, completed
1919 | First women’s residence, President Steyn, completed
1945 | Faculties of Law, Education, and Social Sciences established
1950 | Became the University of the Orange Free State
1954 | Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences established
1958 | Faculty of Agriculture established
1969 | Faculty of Health Sciences established
1980 | Faculty of Theology established
2001 | Renamed as University of the Free State with 30 000+ students 
2003 | Qwaqwa Campus incorporated
2004 | South Campus incorporated
2018 | 40 491 students enrolled in seven faculties