University of The Free State Uniqwa
The Qwaqwa Campus is a vibrant education hub located at the base of the scenic sandstone mountains of Phuthaditjhaba in the Eastern Free State. The campus attracts students from all over the continent and provides access for a majority of students from the Eastern Free State and towns from the western borders of KwaZulu-Natal. While it is an important role player in the provisioning of higher education in a rural environment, it provides employment for a large number of local residents, as well as taking the lead in the socio-economic development of the area.
The campus was a satellite campus of the former University of the North (now University of Limpopo) with its then headquarters located in the province of Limpopo (as it is known now), some 700 km away. While under the control of the University of the North, it was referred to as the University of Qwaqwa or Uniqwa. The campus offered programmes to 282 students in 1982 in the Arts, Economics, Education and Theology disciplines.
On 1 January 2003 the campus was fully incorporated as a campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), as part of the restructuring of higher education in South Africa.
Stimulating growth, job creation, and entrepreneurship in the region has been the main focus in the creation of a demand-driven academic ethos, while skills and community-development programmes are also offered on the campus. The research agenda also focuses on identifying the best possible strategies for creating jobs in impoverished rural areas and understanding how best to stimulate economic growth in these contexts.
The campus offers programmes in the faculties of Economic and Management Sciences, Education, the Humanities, and Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Students can also obtain certificates, diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in various study fields.
The student and staff component reflects the UFS’s serious involvement and commitment to providing access to higher education in rural South Africa. In this regard, the huge investment in infrastructure by the university makes it one of the best equipped rural campuses in the country. The spacious layout of the campus, the modern lecture theatres, and very comfortable residences provide an ideal learning environment for those who are serious about receiving a quality education in the area.
The campus is proud to have an international complement of highly qualified and skilled academic and support staff that are serious about providing a high quality of education. The campus caters for around 3 500 students and expects to be able to enrol about 4 000 students once the new infrastructure and residences are completed in 2015.