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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

UFS increases admission requirements
2010-07-26

Admissions criteria for entry to undergraduate programmes at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be increased with immediate effect. This means that students who begin their undergraduate studies in 2011 will need to meet the new admissions criteria in order to register.

“Increasing admissions requirements is a critical component of our unwavering commitment to excellent academic standards and educational quality at the UFS,” said Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Teaching and Learning at the UFS.

“The challenge of student success at most South African universities is something that has attracted increasing attention over the past few years. We believe that it is our responsibility as an educational institution to admit students that we are confident are likely to be successful, and also to provide the very best quality of teaching and learning to ensure success.”

The university is also acutely aware that large numbers of young people in the country attend schools that are not adequately resourced to provide the quality of schooling needed for successful university study.

“We are thus committed to working with schools and with talented learners in order to address this challenge,” said Prof. Hay.

“The university currently has several initiatives in this regard. Further, our innovative and extremely successful University Preparation Programme (UPP) provides an opportunity for students with potential who do not meet the university entrance criteria to complete a bridging year that prepares them for the rigours of university.”

For students who begin their studies in 2011 the following changes will come into effect:

  • The minimum requirement for entry into undergraduate programmes will increase from 28 points to 30 points.
  • The minimum requirement for entry into extended programmes will increase from 23 points to 25 points.
  • The minimum requirement for entry into the University Preparation Programme will increase from 17 points to 20 points.
  • Subject-specific requirements specified by faculties will remain the same, except for Natural and Agricultural Sciences (contact the Faculty Manager at 051 401 3199).
  • All programmes that already require a minimum score of 30 points and above will not be changed.
  • The minimum entrance criteria for the B.Ed. Foundation Phase and B.Ed. Intermediate Phase will increase from 23 points to 25 points.
  • The minimum entrance criteria for B.Soc.Sc. Nursing will increase from 28 to 29 points.

Performance in the National Benchmark Tests will be used for placing students into academic support modules as needed.

These test results will not be used for admissions decisions in 2011, except for Faculties where it is used as part of their selection process.
Prospective students are encouraged to submit their applications for study in 2011 as soon as possible.
For telephone enquiries, please dial 051 401 3000.

 

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
26 July 2010
 

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