Welcome to the University of the Free State (UFS) – an excellent place for visitors, students, and staff. Browse through our website to see what we offer, or visit any of our three campuses for a proper taste of studying with us. Join the more than 40 491 students who already understand that “only a Kovsie knows the feeling”.
Since 1904, the UFS has grown steadily as a recognised university, with scholars who influence global growth. Today, we have several international partnerships that contribute to a rich body of knowledge and skills. After all, research and learning is what you expect of an excellent university.
My vision is to grow a university that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence. Everybody must feel welcome and safe when they enter our learning and living space. It must be a place where both social and academic dreams are realised – an experience that lays a balanced foundation for whatever the future demands.
I would like to invite you to be a part of my vision for the UFS, whether you are a student, a staff member, or an external stakeholder. Let us listen to one another, and let us learn from that. But most importantly, let us do. Outcomes are the best measure of intent. The type of outcomes we need to see, are research outputs, graduates, cultural accomplishments, sport feats, community outreach, and leadership.

I want the UFS to be of service and value to its staff, students, and community, and to act as an agent of diversity and inclusion in its immediate space, as well as beyond. I want it to be an environment that encourages tough-topic conversations – because that is the only way to truth and justice.

The UFS will continue to search for worthwhile local, national, and international research collaborations. Exposure to various researchers across the globe will help us to stay current, and respond to the quest for multidisciplinary programmes. Since people are the heartbeat of everything that happens at the UFS, social justice and human rights projects will remain a priority.
Thank you to everybody who already contributes to this magnificent institution. Together, you help a very big machine to run effortlessly – despite the higher-education challenges experienced nationwide. I am privileged to be part of such a skilled and knowledgeable team, devoted to the important role of higher education in our country, and the world.
Choosing the UFS will be one of the best decisions you make. From the moment that you become one of us, we will make your time here a memorable experience. And while you are with us, let us learn from you too.
You are welcome!
Prof Francis Petersen
Rector and Vice-Chancellor
University of the Free State

Other articles:

Inauguration of Prof Francis Petersen as 14th Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS (19 May 2017)

Pursuit of excellence a strong focus for incoming UFS Vice-Chancellor (6 February 2017)

Prof Francis Petersen addresses the National Press Club ( 29 May 2019)

Opinion articles by Prof Francis Petersen:

MENTAL HEALTH: It affects all of us 

On Statues and Statutes: MT Steyn statue creates a vital precedent

EMPLOYABILITY: It’s about so much more than just academic skills

South Africa's Big Mining Challenge

Are South African universities under siege?

The Youth Vote: Political Patronising Must Fall

UFS News
Human Rights KovsiesCare
#KovsiesCare: Human Rights Ambassadors programme creates open dialogue

Ivor Swartz
#KovsiesCare: Former gangster touches lives of Heidedal learners

Gauta Mokati
Football team wants to benefit from home support

UFS Logo teaser
Notice regarding the nomination and election of representatives of the Convocation to the UFS Council

Latest News Monyetla Winter School
FSDoE praises inclusive education on UFS South Campus

UFS Mens hockey
Solid performances by Kovsies at USSA Championships

Prof McCowan
The role of universities in a post-development world

Dr Ufok Samson-Akpan and Dr Ekaete Benedict.
Education is the thread for PhD graduate’s family

UFS students progress to next stage of Entrepreneurship Intervarsity

Drilling rig
Geology receives funding to explore most valuable mineral provinces on Earth

Braam van Wyk
Kovsie coach to assist Ghana hockey

Universities Consortium Launch
UFS hosts launch of Universities Consortium

The Future Is Here: Download the KovsieApp

Physics research
Research explores solution for electricity generation

Economics of air
What are the economics of air?

Tough, but good, says Louzanne about marathons

Judge President Musi
'Courts must embrace 4IR', says Judge President Musi

Epistemic Justice
Epistemic justice is crucial for a sustainable democratic future

Outeniqua residence
Housing and Residence Affairs promotes quality accommodation for students

Absa supports UFS graduates
Absa supports UFS students through to graduation

Open Day
Your future is here; this is the place to be, future Kovsies are told

Lefébre Rademan
More success for netballers in different competition?

Crime dialogue elicits commitment to ensure tighter security

Lynique Beneke
Long jumper Lynique dreams big

Government to enhance PhD production
Government to enhance PhD production

FNB Grant
Students with disabilities thrive with support of FNB grant

Social Justice week
Important discussions during UFS Social Justice Week

Art exibition
National Lotteries Commission funded projects, the pride of UFS

Spontaneous Science ambassador
Spontaneous Science ambassadors bring message home

Andrew Lane
Industry expert Andrew Lane talks future of Mining industry in SA

Dr Faith Mkwananzi
Book gives compelling account of migrants’ education

Vishuis aiming for number seven

Web logo for statements
Agreement between UFS management and the ISRC regarding deregistration process

Career Services
UFS Career Services develops employable students

Disability support taken up a few notches on Qwaqwa Campus

Ergonomics – making your space practical and comfortable

Leading women honoured at faculty opening —STORY EUGENE SEEGERS
Leading women honoured at faculty opening

NSFAS logo latest news
UPDATE: General NSFAS information

Tsietsi Ngobese
Graduate survives horrific road accident


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