07 May 2021 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Johan Roux
The Kovsie ACT programme encourages the evolution of UFS students to form internationally competitive graduates who embody sustainable energy knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of the global environment.

Be a part of the evolution and livestream this year’s University of the Free State (UFS) Kovsie ACT Eco-vehicle race on 15 May 2021.

What’s in it for you? Get exposed to an informative but exciting event that will assess the technology and logic behind sustainable energy sources and how this will influence the future global society.

According to Karen Scheepers, Head of the University of the Free State (UFS) Kovsie Act office, the quest for sustainable resources remains one of the top-five challenges facing the global population of today. This challenge – together with issues pertaining to food insecurity, water, waste and toxins, and the widening gap between rich and poor – poses new questions to the kind of graduates that universities produce, she added.  She further highlighted the importance of innovative critical thinking that responds to day-to-day issues experienced by society in a global context.

Therefore, the UFS has initiated an eco-vehicle project to help students develop the necessary graduate attributes to specifically address issues of sustainable resources. The aim of the eco-vehicle project is to implement, within the context of a higher education institution, a new innovative skills development solution to the challenge of sustainable resources, and to evaluate the efficacy and impact of this programme in a rigorous way. 

Through this programme, senior undergraduate students worked together in teams through a mediated learning programme to build scale-model electric vehicles and mini solar charging stations – powered by solar energy (or batteries charged through solar energy).  This experience will steer them towards finding solutions and creating awareness around 21st century issues, and adapting to the development of technology and globalisation, essentially producing an interdisciplinary experience for UFS students.

Kovsie ACT eco-vehicle skills programme

According to the Kovsie ACT team, the eco-vehicle skills programme helps students understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment, and further implores them to build on their knowledge and skills in order to address and combat complex environmental issues, while taking sufficient action to maintain its healthy state and secure it for the future. 

The skills development programme culminates in a race-day event where sustainable energy skills are put to the test. 
A certificate endorsed by the UFS and donor partner merSETA will be issued to students who have participated and who have been successfully trained and developed in the eco-vehicle skills programme, giving them a head start to the working world.

For more information about the Kovsie ACT eco-vehicle skills programme, email ACT at ACT@ufs.ac.za 


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