UFS cancels events amidst current global COVID-19 outbreak

Photo: Roodt Architects.

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) has decided to go into early recess and has suspended classes from today. Instead of returning to campus on 30 March to kick off their second term of the year, the academic programme is suspended until 13 April.

The institution will also share information regarding midyear examinations as soon as possible. The Open Days scheduled to take place on the Qwaqwa Campus on 18 April 2020 and on the Bloemfontein Campus on 9 May 2020, have been cancelled. This decision was taken after President Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday declaring the outbreak of Coronavirus a state of disaster.

The UFS has released a statement explaining that all official events scheduled to take place on any of its campuses are cancelled with immediate effect. This includes the use of university venues by external conference and/or event organisers.

According to the statement, graduation ceremonies and related prize-giving ceremonies scheduled to take place on the Bloemfontein Campus in April and on the Qwaqwa Campus in May and the graduation ceremony, which was set to take place in June, have been postponed until further notice.

Students in residences will also have to evacuate their respective residences, as all residences on the campuses will be closed until 13 April 2020.

The university has further stated that the UFS Coronavirus (COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2) Task Team meets daily to discuss the contingency and plans for preparedness for the university’s three campuses and is liaising with the provincial Department of Health and the NICD in Johannesburg to provide up-to-date information to staff and students.

Meanwhile, the Central University of Technology has communicated that a decision has been taken to suspend classes as well as its autumn graduation ceremonies.