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19 April 2018

The University of the Free State invites all Grade 12 learners and their parents to the UFS Open Days. On the Bloemfontein Campus, the Open Day will be held on 12 May 2018, and on the Qwaqwa Campus, Phuthaditjhaba on 26 May 2018.
 
The programme for both Open Days has been streamlined to allow for more time in the faculties in order to gather the necessary academic information. Therefore, there will not be a collective welcoming programme on either campus; however, the academic programme for the respective faculties can be visited DIRECTLY from 09:00. All exhibitions are open from 09:00 till 15:00.

BLOEMFONTEIN CAMPUS OPEN DAY – 12 MAY 2018:


Programme

1. Academic programme in the respective faculties: There will be two welcoming and information sessions by the Dean of each faculty. 

a. Session 1: 09:00–10:00
b. Session 2: 11:00–12:00
c. The venue for each faculty is:
i. Economic and Management Sciences: EMS Auditorium
ii. Education: New Education Auditorium
iii. Health Sciences: Francois Retief Building
iv. Natural and Agricultural Sciences: Callie Human Centre
v. Law: Equitas Building
vi. The Humanities: Odeion
vii. Theology and Religion: Theology Building, Room 21

2. Administrative services in the H van der Merwe Scholtz Hall: Bring your Grade 11 results and a copy of your ID should you wish to apply for 2019 undergraduate studies during the Open Day.
a. Online and hard-copy applications
b. Admissions 
c. General Enquiries
d. UFS Marketing
e. Centre for Teaching and Learning
f. Financial Aid
g. Tuition Fees
h. Housing and Residence Affairs
i. National Benchmark Tests
j. University Access Programmes
k. KovsieGear merchandise 
l. Library and Information Services

3. Student Life programme in front of the Main Building
a. Kovsie2B Social Media
b. Student Life Colleges and Residence Communities exhibitions
c. Arts and Culture
d. Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS)
e. Counselling and Development
f. Gender and Sexual Equity Office
g. KovsieSport
h. Student Media
i. Student Wellness and Social Support

4. Student Associations exhibitions at the Thakaneng Bridge
a. Academic associations
b. Charity-based student associations
c. Cultural-based student associations
d. Political associations
e. Religious associations

MEET AND GREET WITH THE RECTOR AND VICE-CHANCELLOR: 

Professor Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, invites teachers, principals, and parents to engage with him from 12:00 till 14:00, Bloemfontein Campus. If you would like to make use of this opportunity, RSVP by 9 May 2018 to greylinl@ufs.ac.za or bakkese@ufs.ac.za

 

QWAQWA CAMPUS OPEN DAY – 26 MAY 2018:

1. Academic programme in the respective faculties: There will be two welcoming and information sessions by the Assistant Dean of each faculty. 
a. Session 1: 09:00–10:00
b. Session 2: 11:00–12:00
2. Administrative services in the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall: Bring your Grade 11 results and a copy of your ID should you wish to apply for 2019 undergraduate studies during the Open Day.
3. Student Life programme and Student Associations exhibitions. 

MEET AND GREET WITH THE RECTOR AND VICE-CHANCELLOR: 
Professor Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, invites teachers, principals, and parents to engage with him from 12:00 till 14:00, Qwaqwa Campus. If you would like to make use of this opportunity, RSVP by 23 May 2018 to greylinl@ufs.ac.za or bakkese@ufs.ac.za

GENERAL
Unfortunately no food parcels will be provided to learners. Open Day programmes will be distributed at all entrances on both campuses.
If you require any further information about the Open Days you can contact 051 401 3384/9028. 

2019 APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN
Keep in mind that there are limited spaces in each programme and to avoid disappointment, you are advised to apply as soon as possible. Application to study at the University of the Free State is free. If you want to apply now, click here

News Archive

Research on cactus pear grabs attention of food, cosmetic and medical industry
2015-02-18

Cactus pear
Photo: Charl Devenish

The dedicated research and development programme at the UFS on spineless cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) – also known as prickly pear – has grown steadily in both vision and dimension during the past 15 years. Formal cactus pear research at the UFS started with the formation of the Prickly Pear Working Group (PPWG) in June 2002. It has since gone from strength to strength with several MSc dissertations and a PhD thesis as well as popular and scientific publications flowing from this initiative.

According to Prof Wijnand Swart from the Department of Plant Sciences, the UFS is today recognised as a leading institution in the world conducting multi-disciplinary research on spineless cactus pear.

Cactus pear for animal feed

Increasing demands on already scarce water resources in South Africa require alternative sources of animal feed – specifically crops that are more efficient users of water. One alternative with the potential for widespread production is spineless cactus pear. It is 1.14 x more efficient in its use of water than Old man saltbush, 2.8 x more efficient than wheat, 3.75 x more efficient than lucerne and 7.5 x more efficient than rangeland vegetation.

“Studies on the use of sun-dried cactus pear cladodes suggest that it has the potential to provide some 25% of the basic feed resources required by South Africa’s commercial ruminant feed manufacturing sector,” says Prof HO de Waal of the Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences at the UFS.

Until recently, research has focused extensively on the use of cactus pear as drought fodder. However, this is now beginning to shift, with growing interest in the intensive production of spineless cactus pear for other types of animal feed. One example is the spineless cactus pear fruit, produced seasonal, yielding large quantities of fruit in a relatively short period of a few months in summer. Unless kept in cold storage, the fruit cannot be stored for a long period. Therefore, a procedure was developed to combine large volumes of mashed cactus pear fruit with dry hay and straw and preserve it for longer periods as high moisture livestock feed, kuilmoes – a high water content livestock feed similar to silage.

Cactus pear and Pineapple juice
Photo: Charl Devenish

Cactus pear for human consumption

“In addition to its use as a livestock feed, cactus pear is increasingly being cultivated for human consumption. Although the plant can be consumed fresh as a juice or vegetable, significant value can be added through processing. This potential is considerable: the plant can be pickled; preserved as a jam or marmalade; or dried and milled to produce baking flour. It can also serve as a replacement of egg and fat in mayonnaise,” said Dr Maryna de Wit from the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology.

The extraction of mucilage from fresh cladodes can form a gelling, emulsifier, and fat-replacing agent commonly found in food products such as mayonnaise and candy. During an information session to the media Dr De Wit and her team conducted a food demonstration to showcase the use of the cladodes in a juice, chicken stir-fry, biscuits and a salad.

The extrusion of cactus pear seed oil provides a further lucrative niche product to the array of uses. These include high-value organic oil for the cosmetic sector, such as soap, hair gel and sun screens.

The cladodes and the fruit also have medicinal uses. It has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, pain killing and anti-diabetic agents. It is also high in fibre and can lower cholesterol. The fruit also prevents proliferation of cells and suppresses tumour growth and can even help to reduce a hangover.

In South Africa the outdated perception of cactus pears as thorny, alien invaders, is rapidly disappearing. Instead, farmers now recognise that cactus pear can play a vital role as a high yielding, water-efficient, multi-use crop, said Prof de Waal and the members of the Cactus Pear Team.

Facebook photo gallery
Dagbreek interview with Dr Maryna de Wit  

Research on cactus pear (read the full story)

For more information or enquiries contact news@ufs.ac.za

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