The University of the Free State (UFS) was first established in 1904 as a higher cadre of learning for Grey College, and it was called Grey University College (GUC). However, the university has since gone through several changes, structurally and systematically, including its nomenclature, to achieve its present status as one of the most revered institutes of higher learning in Africa. With its major campus located in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State, the university has since evolved to become a multi-campus public university with campuses that include the Qwaqwa campus and South campus.
Established in the Apartheid era in South Africa, the institution was originally designed to take only white students but with the end of the apartheid regime in 1994, the university was fully de-segregated two years later and would appoint its first vice-chancellor of color in 2010. There are three major steps to becoming a student in any of UFS campuses: apply for your program of choice (online/offline), get your admission, and then register with the university as a student.
How To Apply For Admission at the University of Free State (UFS)
Applying for admission to the University of the Free State (UFS) can be done both online and offline, that is, by downloading the admission form from the website, filling it, and sending it to the school by post or by going to submit it yourself. The choice of how you apply – online or offline – is totally left to your discretion. However, here are basic rules you are to follow irrespective of the method of application to decide to choose.
You must choose two study options in your application. To enhance your chance of succeeding – in terms of admission – you are advised to choose a selection program and a non-selection program in your options. This means that if your first option is a selection program, the other option should be a non-selection program so that your chance of nipping a slot in the limited spaces available will improve.
Be sure you have your final Grade 12 NSC, IEB results, or its equivalent (for international students). When you are given an admission offer, ensure that you make the stipulated first payment, five working days before registration, and also ensure to complete your registration before classes begin.
UFS Online Application
The UFS online application option is the best method of application if one has access to an electronic device and the internet. This is also so because you are sure to get responses through your email, which is convenient. To apply online, you must have an accessible electronic device – mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or PC – and an active email address.
Visit the website https://apply.ufs.ac.za to access the online application form. Then complete the form and then go through the listed steps in submitting it. Patience is advised when completing the online application form. One should check to see if he/she has indicated their preferences in the relevant sections. Then scan the following items and upload copies onto the application webpage
- ID card (or passport for international students).
- Parent’s/Guardian’s ID or passport (if you are younger than 18).
- National Senior Certificate (if you already matriculated).
- Your final Grade 11 results with the school’s stamp.
- Grade 12 June results with the school’s stamp as soon as it becomes available. It can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you have applied for a selection program.
- Your academic record (for those who are still students at other higher institutions).
- USAF accreditation from the examination board for South African universities.
Note: The documents listed above must be uploaded in PDF or JPEG format.
Offline applications entail downloading the application forms from the schools’ website and completing them. A completed application form can be sent to the university through post or submitted in person to the school. However, all the required documents listed above (duplicate copies) must be attached and submitted alongside the form.
It is noteworthy that UFS has suspended the offline registration process for the 2021 academic session for first-year, senior, and postgraduate students due to the coronavirus pandemic. In compliance with the COVID-19 regulations in the country, the UFS has introduced an online-ONLY registration process, which means no registration for the 2021 session will take place in their campuses as walk-in applications have been temporarily halted.
If you are an international student seeking to apply for admission into the UFS, you will need to fulfill certain requirements to be able to complete the process, and they include:
- A VALID study visa: You must have an appropriate visa to be accepted as a student at the UFS. The visa must be issued to study at the UFS and not any other institution in South Africa.
- A South African medical-aid cover for the period of study: You must be registered with the Medical Schemes Act 1998 of South Africa because this is a major requirement of the South African Immigration Act. You can get more information on the medical cover here: https://www.medicalschemes.com/MedicalSchemes.aspx.
- A stipulated initial payment: When you apply, the student finance department will inform you what the amount is (which is dependant on your program) and the time you have to pay up the required sum. Note that a non-refundable annual administrative fee is charged on all international student accounts.
For any other question, query, or inquiry, check out their International affairs website.
What Requirements Makes One Eligible For Admission at UFS?
The University of the Free State (UFS) has a list of requirements/documents all interested applicants must fulfill/have to qualify for admission into the prestigious university. These documents must be submitted before the closing date for applications as no documents submitted after the closing date for applications will be accepted. They include:
- An NSC/NCV or its equivalent qualification
- A minimum level of 4 (50%) in English or Afrikaans (the latter is only applicable to certain programs).
- A minimum level of success in certain school subjects. This will qualify you to take a certain university module.
- You must meet all the minimum admission requirements for the program you intend to study.
Does UFS Require Application Fee?
Unlike most universities where certain amounts are charged as application fees, UFS maintains a different stance in that regard. Application to study in the UFS is free. You are not to pay an application fee. You are only advised to ensure that you follow the guidelines as you process your application because if you are found wanting in any form, you will have to re-apply for admission in another session.
Note that the application cycle for UFS begins around the second quarter of the year, and applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. For more information on how to apply to UFS, you can visit their website or reach the admissions department through the following media:
Tel: 051 401 9111