Committed to societal engagement

The University of the Free State is strongly committed to Health services for rural communitiessocietal engagement and to strengthen the fabric of the community it exists to serve. As part of this commitment, the University and the Faculty of Health Sciences have developed a concerted focus on the academic excellence in the health sciences domain, with the fundamental goal of improving the environment in which undergraduates and postgraduates can obtain knowledge and improve their clinical skills and provide a vehicle to serve the needs of the community.

Interprofessional Education Student Orientation 2020

Rural Community Initiative - update 2020


Official Opening of the Residence in  Trompsburg  (June 2017)
Trompsburg rural development video: Unite to Heal
Mandela Day 2018 Feedback
Moble Clinic Feedback 2018

Mobile Clinic Pilot 2018

In an attempt to enrich rural primary healthcare through health professions students in collaborative practice, the Faculty of Health Science has created a mobile healthcare service.


The research approach followed on the Faculty of Health Sciences Rural Community Initiative (FHSRCI) is Participatory Action Learning Action Research (PALAR). More about PALAR.


Branding of the mobile health service


UFS_MobileClinic Route-2

The mobile service route around the town of Trompsburg

Mobile Clinic

Faculty of Health Sciences Mobile Clinic


Faculty members engaged with farming community

Alignment with UFS strategic intent

The vision of the project is to be recognized in South Africa (and eventually internationally) for the development of a sustainable community-centered collaborative framework, which may serve as a blueprint for other tertiary health science institutions.

The FHS Service project for Rural Communities is also distinctively aligned with the strategic intentions of the University, by enhancing the standard of undergraduate and postgraduate training and skills development.

It is imperative that the working committee of this project is driven by expertise, to advance excellence in the areas of research, teaching and public service.

A major component of this project is to be able to promote innovation, distinctiveness and leadership amongst students, facilitators, community leaders and teachers in academic, as well as human pursuits.

This initiative will generate transparent opportunities for lifelong learning for academic staff, especially in the healthcare sector.

The integrity of this project will be based on the five core values as underwritten by the University of the Free State,

  • Superior Scholarship
  • Human Embrace
  • Institutional Distinctiveness
  • Emergent Leadership
  • Public Service
Goal of the FHS CBE project

To develop a community-centered collaborative framework sustainable, holistic healthcare and social development incorporated in the curricula of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The objective of the project as follow:
  • Community: To develop equitable inclusive partnerships with diverse stakeholders eliciting social empathy leading to social responsiveness and social justice.
  • Curriculum:  To generate a collaborative practice curriculum for both under- and post-graduate students in the FHS.
  • Centre:  To establish an academic centre of excellence that will facilitate flourishing praxis and research opportunities.
  • Contribution:  To describe the outcomes and impact towards social change; transformation of healthcare and educational practices within the CEP.

‘Kopanang le fodise – United to heal’Location2

‘Kopanang le fodise – United to heal’ is the motto for this project to the Southern Free State.

Since the initial pilot project, Ho Rutana ‘learn together’,  in 2015 in the rural Xhariep district, a more holistic approach to Community Based Education (CBE) in the form of Inter-professional Education (IPE) is used by the Faculty’s three Schools (Nursing, Allied Health Sciences and Medicine). As from February 2016 fourth-year students in the Faculty’s undergraduate programmes have been placed to experience collaboration and the realities of rural health care.

All fourth-year students of the Faculty of Health Sciences will each spend at least a week in inter-professional groups in primary healthcare facilities in the Kopanong municipality of the Xariep district on a CBE-IPE platform in Trompsburg and Springfontein. During these rotations, the teams are firstly orientated and the activities of the week are discussed.  Students interact with the community in different areas including schools and local clinics doing health screenings and addressing health promotion issues.  Students do home visits and are involved in the screening and management of community members with chronic conditions.  Clusters of the successive groups will be linked with each other through follow-up meetings mentored by the same facilitators. These groups follow-up the chronic patients and learners seen by the previous groups and will continue and expand health promotion projects initiated by their predecessors.

Though the original intent was improvement of community health, some of the community needs established during the stakeholder work sessions, create awareness of a variety of other issues, including social problems.  This feedback, as well as feedback from students on the platform has broaden the project’s originally intended objectives and as a result involved other university departments such as Social Work, Agriculture and Education as well as the related government departments which will eventually form part of a holistic collaboration.

With the establishment of the new ‘Kopanang le fodise – united to heal’ project in 2016 the Faculty’s involvement in the southern Free State aligns well with the Primary Healthcare (PHC) Re-engineering strategy of National Department of Health (NDoH).  The project therefore is a timely and useful tool for improving health outcomes and furthering the intentions behind NHI. The National Department of Health (NDoH) adopted a three-stream approach for implementing the strategy:

  1. Creating a Ward-based Outreach Team (WBOT) for each electoral ward;
  2. Strengthening the School Health Services; and
  3. Establishing District-based Clinical Specialist Teams (DCSTs) (Health Systems Trust 2016: Online)
Read more about..
  • Benefits of CBE-IPE platform
  • Trompsburg Residence and personnel
  • Partnerships And Beneficiaries
  • Awards
  • Research Opportunities

Trompsburg residence

Trompsburg facilities


CBE-IPE in action


Stakeholder engagement


Contact Details:

CBE Office

Faculty Coordinator For Cbe And Rural Health: Dr René Botha
Senior Assistant Officer Cbe And Rural Health: Miss Sharne Mokhethi 

Faculty CBE Coordinators

Cbe Coordinator: School Of Allied Health Professions: Miss Heidi Morgan
Cbe Coordinator: School Of Clinical Medicine: Dr Carl Van Ramesdonk
Cbe Coordinator: School Of Nursing: Mrs Ronelle Jansen
Cbe Coordinator: Community Health: Dr  Dirk Hagemeister


Central Information Office
T: +27 51 401 3739
F: +27 86 579 5154


Student Administration
Faculty Administration

Health sciences block next to contact

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.