For the first time in the history of the University of the Free State, students can only register online this year and the process is already well underway.
Online registration and orientation for senior undergraduate and postgraduate students is already underway as it started on 8 February and will conclude on 26 February 2021. Online registration and orientation will take place from 1 to 13 March 2021 for first-year-students.
Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, said that at the end of 2020, the UFS was one of the few universities in the country that was able to complete its academic year in December.
“This is indeed an achievement to be extremely proud of. 2021 will be a year like no other for our students and staff. Apart from the normal activities on our campuses at the beginning of an academic year, we are following a minimalistic approach to the return of staff and students during the first semester, as our country is still in lockdown. It is also important to keep our staff and students safe,” said Prof Petersen.
The university is said to continue with an online/blended learning and teaching approach during the first semester for the first-year and senior undergraduate students. This will result in some classes being online while some are in contact or face-to-face mode, and others a combination of contact and online.
According to Prof Petersen the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a global shift towards the integration of technology into learning and teaching, which the university is embracing this year.
Due to the national lockdown regulations and the capacity of the university’s infrastructure to adhere to physical distancing protocols, the UFS is limiting the number of students who will be returning to the campuses next month. Students will be contacted by their faculties if they are required to return to the campuses.
“We look forward to welcoming back our students for the first semester. Strict safety protocols are maintained on all our campuses, including hygiene, social distancing, and the wearing of masks. It is also a privilege to welcome the new cohort of first-year students entering the university for the first time,” concluded Prof Petersen.
The university also offers online academic advising to help students plan their academic journey and to guide them through decision-making processes related to their study modules. Academic advising for senior and postgraduate students will take place from 1 to 26 February 2021, and for first-year students from 8 to 13 March 2021.
Information on the 2021 registration process can be found on the university’s website.