We use cookies to improve the experience and engagement you have of our website, these are currently blocked. Would you like to allow cookies? To find out more about our cookies, see our Privacy Policy. Please note that if you do not allow cookies you may not be able to view all the content on this website. Allow Cookies

The University of the Free State, South Africa: Profile

From the centre of South Africa beats the heart of the University of the Free State (UFS).

Postgraduate studies strengthen your competitiveness, deepens your knowledge and skills as well as provides professional development giving you the edge in a specialised global market.

We believe that to think big and beyond the obvious is an essential life skill. In a 21st century knowledge economy, a first degree is no longer enough. Therefore, we invite you to explore the leading research programmes in Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Health Sciences, Humanities, Natural and Agriculture Sciences, Law and Theology. 

The main building at the heart of UFS


The Bloemfontein Campus dates back to 1904, making our university one of the oldest higher education institutions in the country. The buildings of a historic and architectural importance and portray the calm though vibrant atmosphere appropriate to an academic institution that is more than 109 years old.

The vast campus enables the students and staff to walk and enjoy the beautiful buildings, parks, lawns, artwork and other facilities. Every effort has been made to make the campus user-friendly and includes braille-guided areas for blind students with additional ramps and elevators for students with disabilities.

Our Bloemfontein Campus is immaculately maintained and provides a safe and secure environment for the more than 33000 students who study here. The Bloemfontein Campus is also regarded as one of the most integrated campuses in South Africa, with a very diverse group of students.

Explore the vast campus at UFS


The UFS has made major investments in postgraduate education in order to attract the best Honours, Master’s and Doctoral students from all over the world to embark on research-based careers. Join some of the leading professors in the world as you pursue an advanced degree in your field.

Professor Maxim Finkelstein - Is the only A-rated researcher in ‘Probability and Statistics’ regarding Mathematical Sciences in South Africa. Prof Finkelstein conducts his general research in the field of ‘Probability and Statistics’. His specific area of focus, though, is ‘Stochastic Modelling’.

Professor Lodewyk Kock - Prof Kock’s world class nano research discovered that cells consist of a maze of small tunnels or blisters which are the “lungs” of the cells. This new nanotechnology for biology can assist in the study and development of nanomedicine that can be used in the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. With the new nanotechnology capacity of the UFS, it is possible to do nanosurgery by slicing the cells in nanometre thin slices while studying the processes of nanomedicine.

Professor Hussein Solomon - Prof Solomon conducts research on the rise of Islamist movements on the African continent and how these interplay with other deeper sources of identity such as ethnicity and clan affiliation. Much of his current work examines the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Ansar Din in Mali and Al Shabab in Somalia. Prof Solomon is also Senior Research Associate of Research on Muslims in Africa (RIMA) based in Jerusalem, Israel, and is a Visiting Fellow of the Mackinder Programme for the Study of Long-Wave Events at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Professor Philippe Burger - Is Professor of Economics and President of the Economics Society of South Africa. Until recently he was Associate Editor of the South Africa Journal of Economics. In addition, he is a member of the OECD Advisory Panel on Budgeting and Public Expenditure.

Professor Melanie Walker - Leads the Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development (CRHED). She holds a prestigious National Research Foundation (NRF) Chair in Higher Education and Human Development. 

The Women’s Memorial Garden 

Professor Hasina Ebrahim - Leads a large European Union research project on Early Childhood Development and has also been one of the leaders in developing the South African Birth to Four Years curriculum.

Professor Vernon Louw - His research focuses on laboratory and clinical research with emphasis on the study of haematological malignancies, transfusion medicine education, and HIV-related haematological diseases. His videos on YouTube are part of the Sub-Sahara Regional Expertize (SHaRE) initiative.

Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela - Her work on trauma and forgiveness is recognised internationally as one of the major contributions to scholarship on the subject of forgiveness in the context of gross human rights violations. Prof Gobodo-Madikizela works on the emotions and interpersonal dimensions of forgiving.

Professor Esta van Heerden - Prof Esta van Heerden and her research team described the first multicellular organism (nematode), discovered at more than three kilometers into the Earth’s crust in ancient water captured through geological time scales and comprising a significant fraction of the global biosphere. The genome sequence is being assessed and assembled in collaboration with Princeton University.

Professor Andre Keet - Is a world expert on human rights education and does extensive research on concepts of race, identity, culture and democracy in higher education. Under the leadership of the Institute, a Master’s Degree in Reconciliation and Social Justice is offered. 


To find out more about the exciting research and postgraduate studies, visit our website on: