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12 November 2018 Photo Johan Roux
December graduations to conclude the UFS academic year
UFS December graduations: three days and six ceremonies of paying tribute to hard work, persistence, and perseverance.

The University of the Free State (UFS) is looking forward to conferring undergraduate, postgraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in all faculties during the upcoming end-of-year graduation ceremonies taking place in December 2018.

The UFS Bloemfontein Campus will host inspiring celebrations for graduates and their families in the Callie Human Centre on the dates specified below.
 
For more information about the upcoming ceremonies, visit the graduation home page, where graduating students can also access the graduation frequently-asked questions (FAQs).  Additional enquiries can be directed to graduations@ufs.ac.za
 
Graduation ceremonies for the different faculties will take place on the following dates:

4 December 2018

09:00 - Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and Education

14:30 - South Campus: Open Distance Learning 

5 December 2018

09:00 - Faculties of the Humanities and Theology and Religion

14:30 - Faculties of Law and Natural and Agricultural Sciences

6 December 2018

09:00 - Faculty of Health Sciences (including School of Nursing)

14:30 - Master's and Doctorate degrees (all faculties)

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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