Academic Crest

Welcoming message from the Rector and Vice-Chancellor

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From the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen

Visibility and Impact

This is indeed an exceptional time to be involved in higher education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the move in a direction that we as an education sector were already moving in – namely, extending online capabilities.

The future arrived quicker than we anticipated.

At the University of the Free State (UFS), we are rising to the challenges that this unique intersection in time is presenting. And we are discovering and making the most of opportunities that present themselves amid the challenges.

Our Digitalisation Implementation Plan, aimed at transforming leadership, institutional culture, technology, and how we as an institution approach strategic and operational tasks through digitalisation, is among our exciting new ventures aimed at achieving excellence, and creating and extending visibility and impact across our operations.

We remain resolutely invested in the success of our students. The fact that our undergraduate throughput rate is among the highest in the country, bears testimony to the efficacy of our various student support initiatives, and the successful use of advanced data analytics to focus and streamline our unique intervention strategies.

We are committed to not only delivering good graduates, but also good citizens who will take our country forward in their various skills sectors, and who will ultimately become good leaders to ensure a better future for all of us. We would like to give you a glimpse of that ‘better future’ while you are part of our family. We strive to make our three campuses a microcosm of an ideal society, where everyone shares a sense of belonging, built on a foundation of mutual respect, tolerance for different viewpoints, and genuine care for one another.

Our vision extends to our continent and the rest of our world, as our close collaboration with industry partners ensures that we deliver graduates who are equipped for and sought-after in workplaces all over the world.

We similarly embrace our role as an institution that is society-focused, playing a transforming role not only in the lives of our students, but also in the communities they come from. We do this by focusing on our core strengths: Leading teaching and learning, focused research, and impactful engagement.

We think big at the UFS. And we work systematically and with dedication to turn vision into reality.

A reality we want you to become part of.

Prof Francis Petersen

Rector and Vice-Chancellor

University of the Free State


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