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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

UFS application figures show a good upward trend
2008-10-23

Applications for admission to the University of the Free State (UFS) are showing an upward trend. In comparison with the same time last year, the total application figure has increased from 6 273 to 7 507 – a growth of 19,7%.

So far, applications for postgraduate studies are showing the biggest growth with 1 342 applications received. During the same time last year, 594 applications for postgraduate studies were received – an increase of 126%.

Prospective students have until 30 November 2008 to apply for admission. “This applies to first-time entering first-year students and senior students who have interrupted their studies for at least one year,” said Mr Vernon Collett, Registrar: Student Academic Services, at the UFS.

According to Mr Collett students whose applications for admission are received after 30 November 2008 and until 13 January 2009 will be accepted subject to the availability of place on the programme they applied for.

Applications from prospective students who wrote the Senior Certificate (prior to 2008) and who are in the possession of a conditional exemption will only be accepted until 5 January 2009.

Prospective students who want to apply must pay a non-refundable fee of R140.
The signed application form must be accompanied by a certified copy of the prospective student’s identity document or passport, a proof of payment of the application fee as well as a certified copy of their Statement of Results of their Senior Certificate.

Prospective students who are in Grade 12 this year will receive a National Senior Certificate. A certified copy of their Statement of Results must be faxed to the UFS not later than 7 January 2009.

The application form of a minor must be signed by his/her parent or guardian and the field of study should be clearly indicated.

First-time entering first-year students from the Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and the Humanities (including Education) will be welcomed by the Acting Rector, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, on Friday, 9 January 2009 at 09:00 in the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus.

The welcoming of students from the Faculties of Health Sciences, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Law and Theology will take place on Saturday, 10 January 2009 at 09:00 in the Callie Human Centre.

The registration of first-time entering first-year students will commence on 13 January 2009 and that of senior students on 19 January 2009 at the Callie Human Centre according to a programme.

Students who applied for admission after 30 November 2008 and are accepted can register from 4 February 2009.

Lectures will commence on 2 February 2009 and the registration process will end on 10 February 2009. This is applicable to all students – undergraduate as well as postgraduates

Prospective students who want to apply for admission or who have any enquiries can call 051 401 3000 or visit the UFS web site at www.ufs.ac.za.

 

Media Release:
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
22 October 2008

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