SARUA’s aim is thus to strengthen the leadership and institutions of higher education in the southern African region
In 2007, the UFS had six former students as part of the Springbok team that won the Rugby World Cup. In addition one member of the support personnel is a staff member of the UFS while another member of the support team is a former student.
In 2006, the University was appointed as the national training provider for the Jobs for Growth Programme, an initiative that forms part of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA), driven by the South African Government.
In 2005, a young scientist at the UFS, Olihile Sebolai, made international headlines with a remarkable discovery of new oily substances in yeast. This is evidence of the UFS’s commitment to producing high quality graduates, particularly from previously disadvantaged communities.
In 2004, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) screened an acclaimed documentary on the life of King Moshoeshoe, a documentary commissioned by the UFS as part of its centenary celebrations. Through this documentary the UFS highlighted the role played by King Moshoeshoe, the founder of the Basotho nation, as an African leader and nation-builder for his reconciliatory role in the Free State and beyond.
In 2003, the UFS became the first university in South Africa to appoint a black woman, Prof Letticia Moja, as Dean of a medical faculty. This is part of the ongoing effort to attract the best staff to the UFS, and supporting the transformation process in South Africa. Prof Moja, tenure was extended with another 5 years in September 2008.
In 2002, the UFS was one of the first universities in South Africa to adopt a policy on community service learning and research. Through this policy the UFS has integrated the service that students render to the community within the academic core of teaching and learning as a credit-bearing activity so that students and communities can benefit.