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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Good quality wheat essential for bread production
2016-11-29

Description: Robbie Lindeque Tags: Robbie Lindeque 

Robert Lindeque, wheat breeder at the ARC
Small Grain Institute in Bethlehem.
Photo: Supplied

“Wheat quality, specifically grain protein, is of the most crucial components determining the profitability of wheat farmers.”

This is according to Robbie Lindeque, wheat breeder at the ARC Small Grain Institute in Bethlehem. As a wheat breeder, one of his primary aims is to make a contribution to sustainable wheat production in the inland of South Africa.

A closer analysis of bread wheat protein

With his PHD thesis, "Protein quality versus quantity in South African commercial bread wheat cultivars”, Lindeque answered critical questions regarding the South African wheat industry. The major question of his PhD, which he received on 30 June 2016, was whether protein quality could compensate for protein quantity as a measure of bread quality in South Africa.

The three main wheat-producing areas in South Africa, the dryland summer rainfall region (Free State), dryland winter rainfall region (Western Cape), and the cooler irrigation regions (Northern Cape), were used as a starting point for the study.

Proteins are essential for the baking of good quality bread. Worldwide, the utilisation of wheat flour shipments in the baking industry is determined by the protein proportion of the shipment.

Lindeque says the aim of his thesis was to determine whether a closer analysis of bread wheat protein would provide a better indication of good or bad bread quality. “The conclusion from this study was that both protein quantity and protein quality from all three production areas in South Africa varies constantly in accuracy regarding the estimation of bread volume, mainly as a result of environmental factors,” says Lindeque.

Results relevant to the wheat industry

In 2012, application was made to the Winter Cereal Trust for funding of the project. After funding was approved – thus making the Winter Cereal Trust the main partner – seed samples were collected from the 2012 and 2013 national cultivar adaptation trials.

“After this, the seed underwent protein and flour analyses, which added a third year to the study, with the fourth year consisting of statistical processing and documenting of the results,” says Lindeque.

Funding by the Winter Cereals Trust contributed to the fact that the study constantly attempted to keep issues and results as relevant as possible to the wheat industry.

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