Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

Funding of R8.7million for skills development in manufacturing and teacher training signed over to UFS
2017-06-19

Description: MerSETA funding Tags: MerSETA funding



The MerSETA (Skills and Training Authority for Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Industries) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the University of the Free State (UFS) for a grant of approximately R8.7million on 14 June 2017, which will be disbursed over a three-year period. 

UFS seeks to bridge the skills gap
As a response to the need for skills development in the manufacturing, engineering and related industries sector, and as an institution of higher learning optimally placed to serve the population of central South Africa, the UFS proposed a partnership with MerSETA to address challenges in the sector. The interventions that MerSETA will fund include training for 600 vocational teachers, research and development of a green building mechanical index, in-service training for 60 IT Teachers and microbotics classes for 100 students.

The CEO of MerSETA, and UFS alumnus Dr Raymond Patel, said the funding for rare skills such as in science and engineering are of great importance for the country. The ability to train teachers and to upskill them will yield great results for the economy as a whole. Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Francis Petersen said the UFS partnership with SETAs and with MerSETA in particular should be mutually beneficial, and went a long way in integrating first-generation university students to be better-prepared for university studies.

Collaboration and support key within university departments
The delegates visited the Departments of Education and Engineering Sciences on the Bloemfontein Campus, where they met project leaders Louis Lagrange from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Dr Nixon Teis, Faculty of Education, and Pat Lamusse, Institutional Advancement. Present at the signing ceremony were members of the Rectorate, the Acting Dean of the faculty of Education, Prof Loyiso Jita, and Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Prof Danie Vermeulen, as well as researchers who will be working on the green building mechanical use index and other MerSETA representatives.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept