University of the Free State

By | December 29, 2021

Image result for University of the Free StateThe University of the Free State (UFS) is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in South Africa. It opened its doors in 1904 on the Bloemfontein Campus with a mere six students in the Humanities. Since then, our institution has grown to more than 34 127 students, spread across seven faculties over three campuses.


Bloemfontein Campus entrance

In addition to the founding campus, the university has a South Campus in Bloemfontein. This smaller campus provides alternative access to higher education for promising students who have not obtained the required marks in their final school examinations. Our vibrant Qwaqwa Campus in the Eastern Free State serves a rapidly-growing number of rural students from the immediate area and surrounding provinces.

The changes taking place at the university continue to capture the imagination of people everywhere, including the international media, and our growing base of international universities.

Inspiring excellence. Transforming lives. These objectives are the driving forces at the heart of the UFS. Through our Human and Academic Projects, we are a university internationally recognised for human reconciliation and compassion as well as for excellence in academic achievement.

Qwaqwa Campus

Academic Project
One of the reasons for the broader interest in the UFS is our very public commitment to the highest academic standards. This is at the core of our Academic Project. The UFS is a strong academic institution, marked by distinctiveness in teaching, research, and public scholarship. The Academic Project includes rigorous academic entrance qualifications for first-time students, elevated standards for the professoriate, the transformation of undergraduate curricula, the recruitment of world-class professors, and the identification and promotion of next-generation professors.

Human Project
The UFS remains conscious, however, of its responsibility to turn ideas into action, to make research count in the lives of ordinary people, and to develop a spirit of service through scholarship among our students. Through our Human Project, the UFS seeks to connect the teaching and research of the university to the improvement of human lives. Our scholarship of service, through a myriad projects and initiatives, makes the vital connections between campus and communities through the production and dissemination of knowledge. In these pursuits, the university makes human reconciliation one of the foundations of its mission.

South Campus

UFS at a glance
•    113 years old
•    36 500 students
•    3 580 faculty and support staff
•    3 campuses
•    7 faculties
•    120 departments


A university recognised across the world for excellence in academic achievement and in human reconciliation.


The university will pursue this vision through its mission:

  • Setting the highest standards for undergraduate and postgraduate education.
  • Recruiting the best and most diverse students and professors into the university.
  • Advancing excellence in the scholarship of research, teaching, and public service.
  • Demonstrating in everyday practice the value of human togetherness and solidarity across social and historical divides.
  • Advancing social justice by creating multiple opportunities for disadvantaged students to access the university.
  • Promoting innovation, distinctiveness and leadership in both academic and human pursuits.
  • Establishing transparent opportunities for lifelong learning for academic and support staff.
People Are Reading:  University of the Free State South Campus


The following five core values represent deeply-held commitments that inform every policy and steer every action. These values underpin both the Academic Project and the Human Project of this university.

  • Superior Scholarship
  • Human Embrace
  • Institutional Distinctiveness
  • Emergent Leadership
  • Public Service


(In Truth is the Light of Wisdom)


Office for International Affairs

The University of the Free State is home to 2 057 international students emanating from across the globe, as well as the African continent and neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Botswana. The university’s Office for International Affairs (OIA) ensures a hassle-free study experience for students from abroad. Staff assists students, visitors and faculty members to obtain the maximum benefit from their stay at the UFS.

The OIA serves as a central hub for international students, providing support across a large platform, which includes:

  • assisting prospective students with questions regarding admission, academic affairs, visas, study permits and accommodation;
  • compiling and administering budgets for sponsored students; and
  • providing on-going practical and emotional support to students far removed from their familiar support structures.

Additional services provided by the OIA comprise:

  • assistance with exchange opportunities and the coordination thereof;
  • liaising with foreign embassies in South Africa;
  • working with the Department of Home Affairs regarding the renewal of study permits;
  • negotiating, facilitating and managing international inter-institutional agreements and partnerships;
  • facilitating academic visits; and
  • promoting the UFS at international conferences/workshops.


Tel: +27(0)51 401 3219/2501/3403/9436

Fax: +27(0)51 401 9185


Postal address:

Office for International Affairs

University of the Free State

PO Box 339



South Africa

Welcome to the UFS Visitors Centre

Our Visitor’s Centre is a great place to start your experience with us. We are located on the Bloemfontein Campus, off DF Malherbe Drive. If you are visiting us for the day, stop by for your access card which you will use to enter the campus through the visitors centre gate (Gate 5) and a parking disc for visitors parking in un-marked spaces around the campus.

At the Visitors Centre, our helpul staff will assist you with directions, campus maps and a copy of our visitor guide.

Our operating hours are Mon – Sun 08:00 – 24:00.

Contact: 051 401 7766

Safety and Security

The safety of our staff and students is a priority, and this is the reason why several initiatives have been put in place on all the campuses to intensify security. Measures have been carefully researched and implemented to the highest standards.

Protection services

Emergency Numbers – Protection Services

Bloemfontein Campus: +27 51 401 2911/2634

Qwaqwa Campus: +27 58 718 5000

South Campus: +27 51 401 2911/2634

UFS Medical Practice: +27 51 401 2603 (Bloemfontein Campus)

Mediclinic casualties: +27 51 444 6666/6225 (Bloemfontein)

National Hospital casualties: +27 51 405 2911 (Bloemfontein)

ER 24 Ambulance Service: 0800 051 051

People Are Reading:  XEROX University of The Free State

SA Police Services: 10111

Social Work Services: +27 51 401 9117 (Bloemfontein Campus)

Fire Brigade: +27 51 406 6666