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21 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Ian van Straaten
Dr Thandi Gumede
Dr Thandi Gumede graduated with a PhD in Polymer Science. She is from Intabazwe, Harrismith.

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State was a hive of activity on 17 and 18 May 2019, when over 800 degrees, diplomas, and certificates were conferred on deserving achievers. These included six PhDs and 14 master’s degrees across the four faculties.

Congratulating the graduates on both days, was Africa’s youngest PhD and Industrial Psychology lecturer, Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe, and Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Be like heat

Dr Saurombe started her address by relating her school journey that saw her starting Grade 1 at age 5, thus later matriculating at the age of 15, having skipped Grades 3 and 10. She went on to emphasise the importance of building an honourable character.

“As a graduate, you will soon realise that your degree is useless if you do not have character,” she said to an attentive audience that continued to marvel at her remarkable school history. She encouraged graduates to be like heat that cannot be seen but can only be felt. “Noise can often be seen and heard, but it cannot be felt. However, while heat cannot always be seen, it is always felt. Be like heat and may your presence always be felt,” she said.

Do not focus on yourself

Prof Francis Petersen also encouraged graduates to look beyond their degrees by developing a set of critical values.
 
“For us as the university, this ceremony is not just about your degrees. It is about the values that you must live by,” he said. “As a graduate of the UFS, do not just believe what you are told. Ask questions and engage critically. Secondly, do not just focus on yourself. Remember that you are part of a community and it is your responsibility to make our world a better place for others. You need to be socially responsive to the needs of your community. Thirdly, remember that integrity plays a very important role. This will determine how others value you,” he said.

The two ceremonies also saw three current SRC members graduating. They are Lebohang Miya (BEd FET – Accounting and Business Studies), Duduzile Mhlongo (BA – Geography and isiZulu), and Mhlongo Sinemfundo (BA – Geography and isiZulu).

News Archive

UFS takes further steps to address load shedding
2015-02-24

The South African economy is experiencing its worst electricity crisis since 2008, with state power firm Eskom implementing load shedding as it struggles to meet growing demand for power.

The University of the Free State (UFS) has been planning and implementing projects to reduce the impact of load shedding since 2008. This was done primarily to ensure that the academic programme does not suffer as a result of the increasing cuts in power supply, which continued this year.

The university’s main concern is the supply of emergency power to lecture halls and laboratories.

Up to date, 35 generators are serving 55 buildings on the three campuses of the UFS. This includes 26 generators on the Bloemfontein Campus, eight on the Qwaqwa Campus in the Eastern Free State and one generator on the South Campus in Bloemfontein. The generators are serviced regularly and kept in a working condition.

Since 2010, the university has also ensured that all new academic buildings being built were equipped with emergency power.

On the South Campus in Bloemfontein the new lecture hall building and the Computer Laboratory are equipped with emergency power, while the installation of emergency power generators in other buildings is underway. Most of the buildings on the Qwaqwa Campus in the Eastern Free State are provided with emergency power.

“To expand on the work that have already been done, the main objective in the installation of more generators on the Bloemfontein Campus will be to ensure that lecture halls with emergency power are available on the centrally booked timetables and that more of the critical laboratories are equipped with emergency power,” said Mr Nico Janse van Rensburg, Senior Director: University Estates.

“There are still some critical buildings and venues on the Bloemfontein Campus that must be equipped with emergency power. However, this is a costly process and will have to be phased in over a period of time. The further implementation of emergency power is dependent on delivery times of equipment. The university is also looking into alternative power supply solutions, such as solar power,” he said.

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