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

"We cannot train for unemployment"
2009-11-16

The prestige forum was attended by, from the left: Prof. Dirk van Damme, Head of the Centre for Education research and innovation at OECD in Paris, France; Dr Saretha Brüssow of the Planning Unit: Teaching and Learning; Mr Francois Marais, Director of CHESD; Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor; Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector Academic Planning and the guest speaker; and Prof. Magda Fourie of the University of Stellenbosch.
Photo: Gerhard Louw
“We cannot train for unemployment. We must continuously look at what employers and the world want, and update,” Prof. Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Teaching and Learning at the University of Stellenbosch, recently said at a prestige forum for teaching and learning at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Prof. Fourie, former Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS delivered the second Magda Fourie Prestige Lecture at the forum. The forum was presented by the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Learning (CHESD) and the Planning Unit: Teaching and Learning. Various presentations were made on innovations in teaching and learning at the UFS.

Prof. Fourie said research has shown that the knowledge, skills, competencies and values of students are out of sync with the needs of the world out there. Higher Education must look at the context in which it operates and the relevance of its teaching and learning. “We are busy with the cultivation of humanity,” she said.

The UFS is doing excellent work with its bridging programmes and other universities will have to give attention to it. The UFS is also excellent in its extended programmes and have more women and foreign students than the national average. The UFS, however, has a lower percentage of black students than the national average.

The UFS is also excellent in terms of postgraduate students. The national average is 36%, with the UFS boasting 47%. Prof. Fourie expressed her concern for the low throughput in Business and Economics at the UFS where only 13% of those who enter the system graduate. “These are the people we need for this country’s economy.”

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