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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

Research helps farmers save with irrigation
2017-02-15

Description: Irrigation research Tags: Irrigation research

Marcill Venter, lecturer in the Department of
Agricultural Economics at the University of the
Free State, has developed the mathematical
programming system, Soil Water Irrigation
Planning and Energy Management in order to
determine irrigation pump hours.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Her advice to farmers is that they should make sure they are aware of the total cost (investment and operating costs) of an irrigation system. In most cases the investment cost is low, but the operating cost over the lifetime of the system is high.

“It is very important to have a look at the total cost and to install the most economic system,” says Marcill Venter, lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS), who has done research on the economic sustainability of water-pipe systems.

Irrigation systems important components for farming
This research comes at a time when many farmers are relying on their irrigation systems due to persistent drought and low rainfall during 2016. South Africa has also experienced an abnormal increase in electricity tariffs in recent years. Due to tariff increases which threaten the future profitability of irrigation producers, the Water Research Commission (WRC) has launched and financed a project on the sustainable management of irrigation farming systems. “I had the opportunity to work on the project as a researcher,” says Venter.

The heart of every irrigation system is the water pipes that bring life to crops and livestock, and this is what Venter’s research is about. “Water pipes are part of the whole design of irrigation systems. The design of the system impact certain factors which determine the investment and operating costs,” she says.

Mathematical system to help farmers
Venter and Professor Bennie Grové, also from the Department of Agricultural Economics at the UFS, designed the Soil Water Irrigation Planning and Energy Management (SWIP-E) programming model as part of the WRC’s project, as well as for her master’s degree. “The model determines irrigation pump hours through a daily groundwater budget, while also taking into account the time-of-use electricity tariff structure and change in kilowatt requirements arising from the main-line design,” says Venter. The model is a non-linear programming model programmed in General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS).

Design of irrigation system important for sustainability

The main outcome of the study is that the time-of-use electricity tariff structure (Ruraflex) is always more profitable than the flat-rate structure (Landrate). The interaction between the management and design of a system is crucial, as it determines the investment and operating costs. Irrigation designers should take the investment and operating cost of a system into account during the design process. The standards set by the South African Irrigation Institute (SAII) should also be controlled and revised.

Water-pipe thickness plays major role in cost cuts
There is interaction between water-pipe thickness, investment and operating costs. When thinner water pipes are installed, it increases the friction in the system as well as the kilowatt usage. A high kilowatt increases the operating cost, but the use of thinner water pipes lowers the investment cost. Thicker water pipes therefore lower the friction and the kilowatt requirements, which leads to lower operating costs, but thicker pipes have a higher investment cost. “It is thus crucial to look at the total cost (operating and investment cost) when investing in a new system. Farmers should invest in the system with the lowest total cost,” says Venter.

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