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03 July 2018 Photo Johan Roux and Charl Devenish
UFS June graduation ceremonies inspire South Africa
Some of the moments during the 2018 June Graduation Ceremonies on the Bloemfontein Campus.

 Photo Gallery

The University of the Free State conferred about 1 900 diplomas, ACE/ACT certificates, and master’s and doctoral degrees across all seven faculties at this year’s June graduation ceremonies.

South Africa is in awe of UFS graduates who are driven by their passion for academy despite adverse circumstances, with a single goal in mind – achieving academic excellence and advancing their lives to a state of elevation.

From delivering five PhDs in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry, to securing 48 master’s degrees and 1 PhD in Sustainable Agriculture, to conferring a Master of Divinity degree cum laude to 75-year-old Dr Hanneke Meyer, the UFS June 2018 graduation ceremonies have proven that anything is possible once you set your mind to it.

UFS Chancellor, Dr Khotso Mokhele, urged that, “We need to do everything in our power to re-elevate the teaching profession to where it should be.”

Prem Govender, guest speaker at the School of Financial Planning Law’s graduation on Wednesday 27 June 2018, encouraged graduates to exercise integrity in their future professional lives, to recognise those who enabled them to succeed, and to strive to be beacons of hope in the lives of others.  “Second to the medical profession, financial planning is essential, as it ensures the financial wellbeing of society,” she said.
 
Advanced Certificates in Education and Teaching were awarded to our South Campus for Open Distance Learning. Greg van Schalkwyk, Principal of the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology, reviewed technological changes across the past three centuries, highlighting that teachers are preparing students for the 21st century, the Information Age, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He urged teachers to follow their students' example, saying: "Never stop studying. My students keep telling me – 'Sir, if you don't know something, Google it!’”

Speaking at the afternoon graduation session for master’s and PhD graduates in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on 28 June 2018, Max du Preez, South African author, columnist and documentary filmmaker, said, “Intelligentsia search for the truth, because the truth matters.”

On the final day of the graduation ceremonies, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Peterson, addressed the audience by saying, “The values we strive to infuse into our knowledge enterprise are those of critical enquiry and receptiveness to alternative ideas: to question, ask, and debate constructively; but we also impart the value of service.” He concluded by sharing that, “To be of service to your community, to the country, the continent, and even to the world is the role graduates are expected to play.”

Inspiring stories:

Security officer overcoming obstacles to obtain master’s

Hanneke Meyer obtains master’s with distinction at 75

Wednesday 27 June 2018

09:00

Description: 2018 Prem Govender small Tags: Prem Govender, Adv Shirly Hyland, School of Financial Planning Law, Graduation

 “Second to the medical profession, financial planning is essential as it ensures the financial well-being of society.” 
Prem Govender

WATCH: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 27 June 2018 ( morning session)

14:30

 


Description: 2018 Greg VSW small Tags: South Campus School of Open and Distance Learning, ACT programme, Greg van Schalkwyk

"Never stop studying. My students keep telling me; 'Sir, if you don't know something, Google it!'" 
- Greg  van Schalkwyk, Principal of the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology

Watch: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 27 June 2018 ( afternoon session)

Thursday 28 June 2018

09:00

Description: 2018 Max du Preez small Tags: South Campus School of Open and Distance Learning, ACT programme, Greg van Schalkwyk

"Intelligentsia search for the truth, because the truth matters.”
- Max du Preez, South African author, columnist and documentary filmmaker 

WATCH: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 28 June 2018 ( morning Session)

14:30

 Description: 2018 student June grad small Tags: UFS graduation, June graduations

“We need to do everything in our power to re-elevate the teaching profession to where it should be.”
– Dr Khotso Mokhele

WATCH: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 28 June 2018 ( afternoon session)

Friday 29 June 2018

14:30

Description: 2018 Friday afternoon session small Tags: UFS graduations, June Graduations

“To be of service to your community, to the country, the continent, and the globe is the role that graduates will play.”
-Prof Francis Peterson

WATCH: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 29 June 2018 ( afternoon session)



News Archive

UFS leads the way with GMO testing
2003-08-25

A formal agreement linking Africa’s first testing facility for genetically modified organisms (GMO) to an international organization was signed at the University of the Free State.

According to the manager of the GMO testing facility, Dr Chris Viljoen of the Department of Plant Sciences, the facility is now part of GeneScan, a world leader in food diagnostic testing, which has its headquarters in Germany with subsidiaries in the Unites States, Brazil and Hong Kong.

The facility at the UFS has been selected by the second largest international food company to do all its South African GMO testing for export products.

The GMO testing facility is the brainchild of Dr Viljoen, who is a specialist in the field of marker biotechnology and its applications in crop science.

He says the need for such a testing facility arose due to the international regulations on GMOs in food, especially Europe and Asia that requires South African exporters to certify whether their products contain any GMO.

“The regulations in Europe and Asia reflect a consumer need for choice in what they eat due to concerns over the safety of GMOs, as well as environmental and ethical issues. GMO testing and labelling allow consumers the right of choice to eat genetically modified foods or not. According to EU regulations, any product with a GMO content of 1% or higher is labelled as containing GMO.”

According to Dr Viljoen only four products in South Africa are currently GMO. They are white and yellow maize that have been made insect resistant, soya bean that is herbicide tolerant and insect resistant cotton. He says that the awareness of GMOs among South Africans is still very limited, especially in poorer communities, but it is likely to increase with the efforts being made in consumer education by government, seed companies and NGOs.

The testing facility has been established to accommodate the local as well as international market. The GMO testing at the UFS facility is performed using real time PCR, the most advanced means of GMO detection currently available, and using GeneScan developed technology that is recognized worldwide.
 

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