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AlumNews Prof Petersen

Message from the Rector and Vice-Chancellor

South Africans can breathe a little easier. As spring approaches and the weather warms up, we can relax a bit. COVID-19 statistics are veering downwards, and it seems that we have indeed ‘flattened’ the curve and strengthened the country’s health system. The virus and its consequences will, however, be with us for a while. We will have to remain vigilant to be safe.

At the University of the Free State (UFS), we carefully navigated the COVID-19 journey, always taking cognisance of the best science. We will continue to do so as we start with the return of our staff and students to our campuses and a ‘new normal’. We have put together a short documentary on these procedures, which you can watch via the following links [Return to campus: fast guide for students: https://bit.ly/30U9bsq Return to campus: fast guide for staff: https://bit.ly/30UmtVTlink ].

Over the past month, I have held a fascinating series of ‘Co-creation Conversations’ with chief executive officers (CEOs) and executive members from the different sectors of the economy to learn how they are re-imagining their business models post-COVID and to share ideas on what the university could look like.

It is clear that collaboration, including engagement across different sectors, is at the top of their minds. Two sets of principles seem to be non-negotiable: doing more with less, and doing good while doing business, underpinned by a green agenda.  As the pandemic has promoted social solidarity, the private sector will continue to place a high premium on societal impact and sustainable community development. 

New partnerships need to be forged, and existing partnerships need to be strengthened. I believe Government should consider incentivising such relationships, for example, by introducing matching grants on strategic, growth-oriented research and development. To read more...

An overview of the recent Alumni survey

The Alumni Office would like to thank everyone who participated in our comprehensive 2019 Alumni Survey. This study is part of an effort to learn about alumni perceptions of the UFS – from your time as a student, but also as an alumnus. We are doing this to enhance the value we offer to current and future alumni.

With your assistance, we were able to gain better insight in order to guide strategic planning in the future. We believe that it is important for us to deepen our knowledge and understanding about your experience of the UFS. The survey provides insight into matters relating to stakeholder satisfaction and brand engagement, which in turn guides us in developing a plan that is inclusive, transparent, and will strengthen the positive relationships we have with our alumni as we continue to engage across provincial and international borders.

The survey was conducted towards the end of 2019. It included a random sampling of responses from all UFS alumni – 95 812 reachable via SMS and 46 804 reachable via email. Read more



FS launches a Data and Digital Devices Fund
to keep students connected 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the development of a low-tech online and distance approach to learning and teaching, optimising the utilisation of data. Indications are that our approach towards learning and teaching is working, and that we will complete the academic year successfully. We want to enable all our students to access and benefit from these online facilities. We are cognisant of the fact that many of our students have limited or no access to learning resources, appropriate devices, and data. Consequently, to ensure that our students can keep up with changes in the delivery of online academic programmes, the Data and Digital Devices Fund (DDDF) ... Read more

Lesotho Alumni

Lesotho Alumni

Alumni in Lesotho recently launched an Alumni Chapter in Lesotho.  The official launch event was unfortunately postponed due to COVID-19.  Regardless of this, we are excited and look forward to providing our alumni with increased opportunities for further engagement with the University of the Free State through this chapter. The Lesotho Chapter will provide an accessible, informative, and welcoming presence to all UFS Lesotho alumni.

The purpose is to build mutually sustainable relationships with alumni to foster a spirit of loyalty to... read more

CENSARDE Vegetable Tunnels

Improving student well-being through collaborative food provisioning initiatives

More than 64% of students on UFS campuses are collectively challenged by food insecurity. 
According to Annelize Visagie, Head of the Food Environment Office in the Division of Student Affairs at the UFS, food insecurity within higher education institutions is not a new phenomenon... Read more

Elmarie Prinsloo

Bloem Show 
Constantly evolving

Bloem Show is constantly evolving in order to add new aspects to its entertainment, exhibitions, and the value proposition designed for the diverse visitors attending the show.” Elmarie Prinsloo, CEO of Bloem Show and the Showgrounds Development Trust, shared some of her insights on current business challenges. Read more 

Thought leader series

Thought Leader

The UFS is presenting the 3rd UFS Thought Leader Series in collaboration with Vrye Weekblad as part of the Vrystaat Literature Festival’s online initiative, VrySpraak-digitaal.  This year’s debates focus on ‘Post-COVID-19, Post-Crisis’, with Health and Modelling, Politics, Economy, and Predictions for 2021 as the sub-themes.  Read more.



Election of Convocation Representative on Council

The Convocation must elect one person to represent it on the UFS Council, following the expiry of the term of office of the current representative on 23 November 2020. The elected representative will serve for a period of four years.  Read more

Personal data used for online elections

From time to time Convocation members are invited to participate in Convocation or Council elections. As part of the university’s duty to ensure a fair and transparent vote, we contract a third party that specialises in online elections to manage the process on our behalf. To update your details, or to opt out of the online process read more

General  information


UFS Virtual Open Day

Covid-19 has forced us to think differently.  Student Recruitment Services have moved their programme to attract students to the UFS to a virtual platform.  To see how students can receive excellent, theoretical and practical academic education at an affordable price go to the UFS Virtual Open Day.

Alumni testimonials

The UFS is making use of an international platform to market and recruit students. Part of enhancing our profile is alumni testimonials.  If you would like to participate please go to https://www.educations.com/review/institute/37394/select-education


Business School short courses

For information on short courses offered by the
UFS Business School
go to https://www.ufs.ac.za/cbd

Africa Studies and Gender Studies  

Our dynamic postgraduate programmes in Africa and Gender Studies inhabit interdisciplinary knowledge spaces where students critically engage with diverse themes related to Africa, its people, its gender(ed) dynamics and identity politics, among other burning issues.

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Contact information

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Faculty of Health Sciences

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