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10 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Charl Devenish
Graduation

Graduation Livestream

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Announcement: April Graduation Guest Ticketing

Law graduates encouraged to practice good ethics and social justice

Prof Thuli Madonsela, Social Justice Chair at Stellenbosch University, and the former Public Protector of South Africa, spoke to Law graduates during the morning session of the University of the Free State Faculty of Law graduation ceremony on 12 April 2019.  Prof Madonsela encouraged Law graduates to be upstanding in their future practices and to follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, Pixley ka Seme, and other lawyers who lived in trying times, but who stood for ethical legal practice despite their circumstances.  She said graduates will face societal pressures and challenges. “The one-size-fits-all approach to law does not work for everyone, you will have to bring in the social justice aspect to your work,” she said. 

Prof Madonsela encouraged graduates to be lawyers who respect the provisions of the Constitution, especially in a society that is “filled with hope, but is also marred by the fear of joblessness, homelessness, landlessness.”    

What is your unique offering?

Former Chancellor’s Medal recipient (2017) and Head of the Department of Agriculture in the Western CapeJoyene Isaacs, left the group of graduates in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences with a wealth of wisdom from the pointers she provided at both the morning and afternoon ceremonies.

She urged graduates to be curious. “Nosy makes for Nobel Prize winners,” she said. Isaacs continued: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they often lead to innovation. Understand the environment you studied in – political, environmental, economic, social, etc.”

“What is your unique offering? What package deal do you offer to an employer,” she asked.

Graduates were also challenged by her words of wisdom. “Are you prepared to work more than eight hours a day? Don’t stick to a job description. Add value,” Isaacs said.

“You don’t need to be better than someone else as much as you need to be better than you were yesterday. Small incremental improvements will result in major forward movements in your skills and achievements.”

“I salute all of you for your achievements,” she concluded.

Another highlight at the ceremony was that the first seven Postgraduate Diploma graduates in Integrated Water Management, who started in January 2018, received their qualifications.


Two presidents graduate in one ceremony

Student Representative Council President, Sonwabile Dwaba, and his predecessor, Asive Dlanjwa, shared the graduation stage on 10 April 2019. Dance and song marked the iconic Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences afternoon session.

Vian Chinner, guest speaker, enticed graduates in both sessions to leverage the ability of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advance and augment reality. “Consider how AI is going to impact your career decisions,” said the CEO of Xineoh and Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for 2017.

Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, implored the new generation of graduates to maintain their values in a world dominated by the digital economy alluded to.Critical inquiry, social responsiveness, and integrity are the values I propose,” he said.

Karli Botha, who graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting, was named the Dean’s Medallist. Botha emerged as the best performing student in the faculty for 2018.

Humanities graduates encouraged to take leap of faith

A day of jubilation. It is only fitting to say that the graduates from the Faculty of the Humanities found the inspiration for their journey beyond the UFS.  Thembekile Mrototo, former UFS student, current broadcast journalist at radio station 947, and freelance anchor for television news channel eNCA, was the guest speaker.

 Mrototo told the 729 graduates about his journey from a student in Bloemfontein to becoming a regular face and voice on television and radio. “For a child who comes from the background that I came from, education is very important,” he said, referencing the hardships which he endured during his years of studies at the UFS.  He motivated the graduates by saying that they have the power to change the notion that ‘nothing great comes from Bloemfontein’. “You have the power – the world out there is for us to take,” he concluded.

Johnathan Kehrer was awarded the Dean's Medal for best results in respect of an Honours degree whilst Anneke Niewoudt was awarded the Dean's Medal for best results in respect of a first Bachelor's degree.

Guest speaker warns graduates of challenges facing SA education

At the University of the Free State Graduation Ceremony for the Faculty of Education on 8 April 2019, guest speaker and Chief Executive Officer of the National Education Collaboration Trust, Godwin Khoza, said graduates should be well aware that they will be going into a sector where leaders will offer no solutions to the problems, but lots of criticism.

“They will criticise learners for not learning and they will criticise teachers for being incompetent.”

Graduands exhorted: ‘Lift others as you rise’

Setlogane Manchidi, Head of Corporate Social Investment at Investec, told graduates yesterday morning: “Your success is a privilege and a responsibility. Your qualification is just a piece of paper; it is you who must give it meaning. Lift others as your rise.” In his concluding remarks, Prof Francis Petersen mirrored this sentiment: “Always remember where you studied; keep in contact with us and share with us what you are doing. Give back, keeping social responsiveness in mind.”


The parents, friends, family, and peers of 2019 UFS graduates can look forward to a flight of inspiring April graduation ceremonies that are guaranteed to soar graduates off into the finest direction of their career and overall lives.

521 UFS South Campus Open Distance Learning graduates will have the opportunity to be addressed by Head of Corporate Social Investment at Investec Bank, Mr Setlogane Manchidi. Likewise, the Faculties of Education (1 036), the Humanities (726), Economic and Management Sciences (934), Natural and Agricultural Sciences (1 188), Law (676), Health Sciences (244), and Theology and Religion (71) will have the opportunity to be addressed by expert guest speakers in the relevant career fields of the class of 2019 graduation ceremonies.

CEO of the National Education Collaborative Trust, Godwin Khoza; broadcaster on 947 and eNCA, Thembekile Mrototo; and CEO of Xineoh and Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner, Vian Chinner, will address graduates during the April graduation ceremonies. Head of Department in the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and recipient of the UFS Chancellor’s Medal (2017), Joyene Isaacs, and Chair of Social Justice at Stellenbosch University and former Public Protector of South Africa, Prof Thuli Madonsela, are also scheduled to impart words of knowledge and wisdom upon UFS graduates throughout the April graduation ceremonies, which will be taking place in the Callie Human Centre on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus from 8 to 12 April 2019. 

Kovsie graduates have described the annual UFS graduation season as a time and place that diffuses feelings of anticipation, exhilaration, and optimism on campus, where graduates can be assured of a purposeful and enriching send-off experience.

For more information about the 2019 April graduation ceremonies, visit the UFS graduations page, where students can access information about the Graduation Career Guide and Graduation Frequently-asked questions. Any other graduation enquiries may be directed to graduations@ufs.ac.za

Bloemfontein Campus: 

8 April 2019
WATCH: 8 April 2019 ( Morning Session)

Day 1 South Campus new
09:00:
South Campus: Open Distance Learning
Higher certificates
Graduation Programme 

Your success is a privilege and a responsibility. Your qualification is just a piece of paper; it is you who must give it meaning. Lift others as your rise.” Setlogane Manchidi

WATCH: 8 April 2019 (Afternoon Session)


8 April Afternoon Graduation Ceremony

14:30: Faculty of Education
Undergraduate qualifications up to Honours degrees
Graduation Programme 

"Innovation and critical thinking should take a central place in our education system and this should apply to all subjects," - Godwin Khoza.

WATCH: 9 April 2019 ( Morning Session)

Morning Session
09:00:  Faculty of the Humanities
Certificates, diplomas, and Honours degrees
Graduation Programme

"You have the power to change the notion that nothing great comes from Bloem. The future is ours. The world out there is for us to take," -Thembekile Mrototo

Watch: 9 April 2019 ( Afternoon Session)

Afternoon session Humanities
14:30:
Faculty of the Humanities
Undergraduate Bachelor’s degrees
Graduation Programme

"There's no greater feeling than the feeling of being supported by your parents. Even in hardships."
Thembekile Mrototo


WATCH: 10 April 2019 ( Morning Session)

Day 3 Faculty of Economic and Management Science
09:00:
Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (excluding BCom)
Certificates, diplomas, degrees and Honours degrees
Graduation Programme

Consider how AI is going to impact your career decisions,” - Vian Chinner


WATCH: 10 April 2019 (Afternoon Session)

EMS

14:30: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
BCom degrees and Honours degrees
Graduation Programme


WATCH: 11 April 2019 (Morning Session)
NAS morning session

09:00: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Diplomas and Honours degrees
Graduation Programme

"Don’t rush to the top – take time to smell the flowers," - Joyene Isaacs



WATCH:11 April 2019 ( Afternoon Session)

NAS afternoon

14:30: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Bachelor’s degrees
Graduation Programme

"Move away from your safety net and look for a trampoline,"
- Joyene Isaacs


WATCH: 12 April 2019 (Morning Session)

Faculty of Law Morning session

09:00: Faculty of Law (including School of Financial Planning Law)
Diplomas and Bachelor’s degrees 
Graduation Programme

“The one-size-fits-all approach to law does not work for everyone, you will have to bring in the social justice aspect to your work,” -
Prof Thuli Madonsela

WATCH: 12 April 2019 (Afternoon session)

Health Sciences afternoon

14:30: Faculties of Health Sciences and Theology and Religion
Undergraduate qualifications up to Honours degrees
Graduation Programme


News Archive

New world-class Chemistry facilities at UFS
2011-11-22

 

A world-class research centre was introduced on Friday 18 November 2011 when the new Chemistry building on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) was officially opened.
The upgrading of the building, which has taken place over a period of five years, is the UFS’s largest single financial investment in a long time. The building itself has been renovated at a cost of R60 million and, together with the new equipment acquired, the total investment exceeds R110 million. The university has provided the major part of this, with valuable contributions from Sasol and the South African Research Foundation (NRF), which each contributed more than R20 million for different facets and projects.
The senior management of Sasol, NECSA (The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation), PETLabs Pharmaceuticals, and visitors from Sweden attended the opening.

Prof. Andreas Roodt, Head of the Department of Chemistry, states the department’s specialist research areas includes X-ray crystallography, electrochemistry, synthesis of new molecules, the development of new methods to determine rare elements, water purification, as well as the measurement of energy and temperatures responsible for phase changes in molecules, the development of agents to detect cancer and other defects in the body, and many more.

“We have top expertise in various fields, with some of the best equipment and currently competing with the best laboratories in the world. We have collaborative agreements with more than twenty national and international chemistry research groups of note.

“Currently we are providing inputs about technical aspects of the acid mine water in Johannesburg and vicinity, as well as the fracking in the Karoo in order to release shale gas.”

New equipment installed during the upgrading action comprises:

  • X-ray diffractometers (R5 million) for crystal research. Crystals with unknown compounds are researched on an X-ray diffractometer, which determines the distances in angstroms (1 angstrom is a ten-billionth of a metre) and corners between atoms, as well as the arrangement of the atoms in the crystal, and the precise composition of the molecules in the crystal.
  • Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) for thermographic analyses (R4 million). Heat transfer and the accompanying changes, as in volcanoes, and catalytic reactions for new motor petrol are researched. Temperature changes, coupled with the phase switchover of fluid crystals (liquid crystals -watches, TV screens) of solid matter to fluids, are measured.
  • Nuclear-magnetic resonance (NMR: Bruker 600 MHz; R12 million, one of the most advanced systems in Africa). A NMR apparatus is closely linked with the apparatus for magnetic resonance imaging, which is commonly used in hospitals. NMR is also used to determine the structure of unknown compounds, as well as the purity of the sample. Important structural characteristics of molecules can also be identified, which is extremely important if this molecule is to be used as medication, as well as to predict any possible side effects of it.
  • High-performance Computing Centre (HPC, R5 million). The UFS’ HPC consists of approximately 900 computer cores (equal to 900 ordinary personal computers) encapsulated in one compact system handling calculations at a billion-datapoint level It is used to calculate the geometry and spatial arrangements, energy and characteristics of molecules. The bigger the molecule that is worked with, the more powerful the computers must be doing the calculations. Computing chemistry is particularly useful to calculate molecular characteristics in the absence of X-ray crystallographic or other structural information. Some reactions are so quick that the intermediary products cannot be characterised and computing chemistry is of invaluable value in that case.
  • Catalytic and high-pressure equipment (R6 million; some of the most advanced equipment in the world). The pressures reached (in comparison with those in car tyres) are in gases (100 times bigger) and in fluids (1 500 times) in order to study very special reactions. The research is undertaken, some of which are in collaboration with Sasol, to develop new petrol and petrol additives and add value to local chemicals.
  • Reaction speed equipment (Kinetics: R5 million; some of the most advanced equipment in the world). The tempo and reactions can be studied in the ultraviolet, visible and infrared area at millisecond level; if combined with the NMR, up to a microsecond level (one millionth of a second.

Typical reactions are, for example, the human respiratory system, the absorption of agents in the brain, decomposition of nanomaterials and protein, acid and basis polymerisation reactions (shaping of water-bottle plastic) and many more.

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