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CUT: History

The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) centres itself on career-oriented training, community involvement and applied research, thus positively contributing to the South African higher education arena. The CUT aspires to foster an institutional culture that reflects and serves the social order in South Africa, underpinning our vision to be a globally connected African university of technology that focuses on the needs of Southern Africa and supports graduates for citizenship with skills and competencies in appropriate technologies. It is our calling to deliver high-quality appropriate Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) academic programmes supported by applied research. We foster national as well as international ties with other institutions of higher learning, and several students from our neighbouring countries and abroad pursue their studies here. As such the CUT educates, trains and produces perceptive, socially conscious and relevant graduates in its three faculties, namely Engineering, Information and Communication Technology; Health and Environmental Sciences; and Management Sciences.

The university’s main campus is situated in Bloemfontein – in the heartland of South Africa. The university also has regional learning centres in Welkom to cater for students in the Goldfields area, and in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. Our Bloemfontein campus houses a full array of modern buildings with well-equipped laboratories and lecturing venues. The university has a large Library and Information Centre. The Lapeng Student Centre is a vibrant venue hosting a wide variety of student activities, as well as numerous other services. Excellent sporting facilities on campus cater for the needs of sports enthusiasts, with a host of formally organised sport codes varying from athletics, soccer, rugby and cricket to basketball, volleyball and netball.

We like to refer to our students who completed their studies as practuandi and not graduandi. Simply because students who have graduated from the CUT by receiving an academic qualification with a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge. Our students enter the job market not only with academic knowledge; they have had experience in the industry – proof that they can do the job. They have the foundation to be our country’s new generation of forward thinkers.

At the CUT we help shape the future of approximately 1 500 practuandi per year who also all have the opportunity to further their studies with the help of our Graduate School. As a university of technology the CUT specialises in Science, Engineering & Technology (SET) applied research. The university recognises the importance of partnerships with industry/business and government to meet its research objectives and to contribute to the wellbeing of society. Research programmes include:

  • New product development and design
  • Automated material handling and radio frequency identification
  • Hydro-informatics
  • Information and communication technology
  • Applied food science and biotechnology
  • Bio-environmental studies
  • Health technology
  • Socio-economic development studies
  • Education
  • Research development

Our Science Park places technological expertise and skills at the disposal of the community so that businesses can implement this knowledge in practice. Projects are undertaken with the aim of teaching people new skills and promoting job creation. By reaching out to the community, the CUT has managed to improve the standard of living of many people. As from 2006 the CUT can also boast another fabulous first in central South Africa – the Free State’s first Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab), which provides a thriving incubator for local micro-businesses. The FabLab gives users the ability to locally conceptualise, design, develop, fabricate and test almost anything. Other centres of applied research include:

  • Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing
  • Tshumisano Technology Station
  • Centre for Environmental, Community and Industrial Development
  • School for Entrepreneurship and Business Development
  • Centre for the Built Environment

Thanks to strict financial control measures and the careful management of resources, the CUT can boast one of the lowest levels of outstanding fees in South Africa. However, it is only through the highly appreciated assistance of organisations such as yours that the CUT can maintain its ability to contribute to the community at large.

By standing together as business partners, we can pool our resources to make an even greater difference in the community we serve. We trust that you will support us in our endeavours, and that we may approach you for financial assistance.