04 June 2020 | Story Communication and Marketing

Due to the seriousness of the global COVID-19 outbreak, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, established a Coronavirus Task Team comprising representatives from various key function areas on the University of the Free State (UFS) campuses. This includes members of the executive management, virologists, infectious disease experts, and representatives of the academic and support-service functions. The team meets frequently to discuss the contingency and preparedness plans for the university’s three campuses. 

In response to the current pandemic, the UFS has opted to postpone all graduation and related prize-giving ceremonies scheduled to take place from 20 to 24 April 2020 and 10 to 12 June 2020 on the Bloemfontein Campus,  as well as those from 8 to 9 May 2020 on the Qwaqwa Campus. We know that this was the best decision to curb the spread of the disease as far as possible.

The university acknowledges the importance of graduation ceremonies and appreciates the diligence displayed by our students. We also recognise the virtual graduation ceremonies held by other institutions to confer and award qualifications. As such, a survey was issued to the April, May, and June 2020 graduates to determine their preference between virtual and traditional ceremonies.  

We are grateful for the response to the survey, which indicated that the overwhelming majority of graduates prefer a traditional graduation ceremony. The university’s executive management subsequently resolved that a final decision regarding virtual or traditional ceremonies would be made towards the end of July or the beginning of August 2020. The university still hopes to host the graduation ceremonies on its campuses in 2020 so that we can celebrate this joyous occasion with our graduates and their families. We will continue to evaluate the decision in light of the developments related to COVID-19, as well as taking into account the national lockdown level at the time. 

We will continue to support and assist students who require confirmation of their qualification and academic records for either employment or to further their studies.  Please contact us at 051 401 9666 or studentadmin@ufs.ac.za for any enquiries about the graduation ceremonies.

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