Digital Life

The Digital Life Portal links you up with available zero-rated academic resources when working off-campus. Zero-rated resources are those websites that are exempted from data fees when accessing them through the platform. 

Please note: This service is only available for mobile users in South Africa and will only be available from 20 April 2020.


Disclaimer: Due to the volatile nature of the agreements that have been put in place with each Mobile Service Provider (CellC, Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom Mobile) it is required that you visit this page frequently to ensure that there have been no changes. Service providers reserve the right to terminate zero-rated access on short notice if it is found to have an operational impact on their infrastructure. All changes will be communicated on this webpage only. Neither the University of the Free State nor the Mobile Service Providers (MTN, Vodacom, Cell C, and Telkom Mobile) can be held liable for any financial loss due to the use of this service. The University of the Free State reserves the right to terminate this service with any student if the user is found to be in contravention of any applicable South African law or of any applicable University of the Free State policies. Furthermore, the University of the Free State reserves the right to terminate this service if it deems it no longer necessary to address access requirements or in its best interests. Access to this service is monitored by the University of the Free State. By logging into the service, you accept these terms and conditions.

The portal is your gateway to accessing these resources. However, first, you will need to complete these four necessary installation steps to get started.

Get connected to zero-rating

  1. Click on the link to the UFS Student Access Portal (
    1. Enter your Username (“Student number”) 
    2. Enter your Password (“Student password”)
    3. Click on Log In

      UFS Student Access Portal
    You can update or change your password via Password Self Service if you forgot your password.

  2. Once logged in, you will be redirected to a page suggesting that you download the Global Protect Agent. Global Protect is the program that will enable you to make use of the zero-rated websites.

    Follow these links for installation instructions on the different devices.

  3. Open and connect to the GlobalProtect Client by searching for it under your installed apps or programs.

    Remember to type in when it prompts you for a portal.

    Welcome to GlobalProtect   Sign in GlobalProtect  Connected GlobalProtect

    • I do not own an internet-capable device – what now?
      If you have no other means of accessing your academic material, we suggest that you get in touch with your faculty so that they can assist you with alternative measures. For faculty contact information, click here.

    • How does it work?
      As long as your GlobalProtect Client shows a ‘connected’ status, you will be able to access the listed resources for free. Once you have completed your academic activity, you can click on the ‘disconnect’ button. You will find that only the resources listed below are available once connected to GlobalProtect. To carry on with your personal browsing, please disconnect from GlobalProtect.

    • What can I access with GlobalProtect:
      The following academic websites have been zero-rated by the UFS: 

      UFS Websites
      Peoplesoft Student
      UFS Website
      UFS Covid-19 info site
      Password Self-Service 
      UFS SolveIT
      E-mail (ufs4life)
      UFS Library Resources
      UFS Library Information
      Student MyAccess Portal 
      CSI ECLA
      Evasys Surveys
      My Academic
      Kovsie Scholar

    • Who can make use of this service?
      You have to be a registered student at the University of the Free State. You will be required to log in with your UFS username and password.

      This service is available to students that have Vodacom, MTN, CellC, or Telkom Mobile coverage, even if you have a zero balance on your SIM card.

    • I have no Vodacom, MTN, CellC or Telkom Mobile coverage where I live
      There is a good chance that one of these providers has coverage in your area. If this is the case, you may want to consider getting a secondary SIM card to allow you to make use of the noted service. Please contact the ICT Student Desk if you need assistance.

    • Do I need a new SIM card or can I use my existing number?
      You can make use of your current mobile number and device. You can, however, opt to get a different SIM card if you prefer to do so. Please keep in mind that it may be challenging to find an open cellular store during “lockdown”, which means that you might not be able to complete the necessary RICA proses. We recommend that you use an existing SIM instead to stay within the rules of the COVID-19 lockdown.

    • Do I need to use this if I have my own internet?
      You can make use of your existing internet connection if you prefer to do so. This service is not mandatory; it is a service to assist any student that does not have data readily available.

    • I cannot access something that I need for my studies
      If you find that access to an academic resource is not available, which is required to continue with your academic activities, please contact the Student Desk via phone or email and provide them with the details. All efforts will be made to implement this quickly after the website content and purpose have been evaluated. The contact details for the Student Desk are listed below.

    • How do I set up a mobile hotspot from my mobile device?

    • I cannot connect. Help me!!
      Contact the Student Desk for assistance:

      Contact details (during office hours: 07:45–16:30) T: +27 51 401 2000 or E:

    • More on #LearnOn initiatives and how to make the best use of your available data
      For more information on the UFS Learn On Campaign visit

    • At which email account will you contact me?
      You have a free email account from the University of the Free State.

      All official communication from the university is sent to your UFS email account. Take note that this ufs4life email account is a Gmail account.

      To access your ufs4life emails, visit the following website:

      URL address:
      Log in with:
      Username: Student number
      Password: UFS campus password
      Set up your email step-by-step and get connected.

      Note: Should you decide to set up forwarding rules from your ufs4life email account to your personal or other email address, zero-rated tariffs will not apply to these secondary email addresses.

Last updated: 24 April 2020

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