Contact details: +27 58 718 5098

Research in Chemistry focuses mainly on the investigation of structure-property relationships in polymer blends, composites and nanocomposites. A large amount of work has been done on polymer/wax blends and polymer composites. The group has published more than 140 papers in international, peer-reviewed journals and a significant number of PhD and MSc students successfully graduated from the group. Preparative photochemistry of anti-AIDS drugs is an exciting new field of research offered in Chemistry.

Computer Science and Informatics
The Department of Computer Science and Informatics is involved in developing mobile applications in various public and private sectors. Among others, research is conducted in mobile applications to deliver public transport information to Qwaqwa montane developing communities, as well as assisting local hospitals with the Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and feasibility studies to make them mobile. Departmental research is very much community oriented and aims to provide local communities with solutions, using mobile technologies.

The Department of Geography puts a strong emphasis on montane research. Research is being conducted on environmental problems in the Maluti-a-Phofung area. This research encompass in situ and ex situ conservation of paleontological resources with the aim to set up a GIS-based environmental management system and the role of local cultures in promoting regional tourism.


The Department of Physics places emphasis on changing and improving community perceptions on electricity and electronics. The major part of the research has been in the field of solid-state physics and specifically on nanophosphors and other luminescent nanoparticles.

Plant Sciences
The Department of Plant Sciences has created an inventory of the wild plants in the Qwaqwa region. The initial small collection of herbarium specimens at the Lere la Tshepe Campus has grown into a comprehensive herbarium with its own room in the Science Building. The department is involved in research on medicinal plants and in creating a national database on wetland vegetation. Several publications have resulted from this research.

The Department of Sociology has been conducting and publishing research on human-scale development. The teaching conducted by the department, as well as the postgraduate work done by students and staff, incorporates youth inclusion, sustainable livelihoods and empowerment from an asset-based perspective.

Zoology and Entomology
The Department of Zoology and Entomology is involved in projects related to parasitology, immunology and animal conservation. The research involves, among others, canids, bat-eared foxes, leopards, malarial parasites and immunology of laboratory rats. Several MSc students and a postdoctoral research fellow are involved in these projects and a number of publications have resulted from the research.

Afro-Montane Research Institute
Mountainous areas face important developmental challenges concerning water supply, tourism, the management of sensitive mountain biodiversity, ecologically sustainable agricultural practices and climate change. The recognition of the importance of montane environments is underdeveloped in Africa. With this Qwaqwa Campus located in the mountainous region of Qwaqwa, the UFS is ideally placed to promote interdisciplinary research on sustainable development. The campus is at an advanced stage of finalising research opportunities in this regard.

The Faculty of Education
Rurality and rural education have, in many societies across the world, been perceived from a deficit frame of reference. This research seeks to profile rural learning ecologies as sustainable spaces that require the reciprocal assistance of social justice, resilience, sustainability and development.

Furthermore, it is to unleash positive and powerful untold stories about rurality and rural education. Some scholars suggest the need for dialogue that leads to further conceptual understanding about rural schools and rural education, rural communities and rural learning ecologies. The faculty hosts an annual Sustainable Rural Learning Ecologies (SuRLEc) colloquium as a platform for stimulating research and disseminating findings.


Qwaqwa Campus
Private Bag X13
+27 58 718 5000

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