About University of the Free State
The University of the Free State (UFS) was established in 1904. The University of the Free State is situated in the heart of the central region of South Africa. The UFS, a multicultural, parallel-medium (English and Afrikaans) institution, was established in Bloemfontein, capital of the Free State Province, in 1904. On the main campus in Bloemfontein, our students number close to 17 000, while almost 4 000 use other means of study such as the Internet and distance education. The Qwaqwa Campus in the Eastern Free State, which was incorporated in January 2003, has approximately 1 500 students.
It has six faculties offer a full range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The University is an important centre for research and has close ties with a number of universities on the continent as well as around the world.
The UFS is recognised as a leader in the transformation process in South African higher education - a view endorsed by former President Nelson Mandela, who has lauded our University for its transformation and language policies.
The long-held dream of an institution of higher education in the Free State became a reality on 28 January 1904.
When the Grey College School in Bloemfontein opened its doors for the new school term, matriculants could, for the first time in the history of the institution, register for a full BA degree course. The first six students attended lectures in a tiny two-roomed building. This building was later reconstructed on the present-day UFS campus and has been declared a national monument.
The first two graduates in 1905 were SEH Grosskopf, who went on to become a missionary and cleric, and JZ van Schalkwijk. Others who studied at UFS were EB Grosskopf (author), Dr WFC Arndt (Mathematics professor), SH Pellisier (Director of Education), Dr NJ van der Merwe (cleric and cabinet minister), Sir Pierre van Ryneveld (the first person to fly from London to Cape Town accompanied by only one person), and Dr Colin Steyn (politician and cabinet minister).
The Qwaqwa Campus, which was formerly a campus of the University of the North in Polokwane, was incorporated into the UFS on 1 January 2003 as part of the restructuring of higher education by the Minister of Education.