08 July 2024 | Story Jacky Tshokwe | Photo Supplied
Kay-Leigh van Rooyen
Kay-Leigh van Rooyen, recipient of the 2024 Abe Bailey Travel Bursary.

The University of the Free State (UFS) is thrilled to announce that Kay-Leigh van Rooyen, one of our exceptional students, has been awarded the prestigious Abe Bailey Travel Bursary for 2024. This coveted award is a testament to Van Rooyen's outstanding leadership qualities and unwavering commitment to community service.

Van Rooyen is a BComHons Business Management graduate, currently completing her master’s degree with research in the field of entrepreneurial resilience and SME performance in South Africa. She also works as a research assistant in the Department of Business Management at the UFS. Known for her charisma, quick learning, and love of working with people, Van Rooyen is ready to take on any challenge.

Since its inception in 1951, the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary has been awarded to more than 800 remarkable South African students, providing them with an incredible opportunity to broaden their horizons through an all-expenses-paid trip to the United Kingdom. This year, Van Rooyen joins this elite group of bursars who have demonstrated exceptional calibre and dedication.

The tour, commencing in Cape Town on 26 November 2024, promises an enriching experience aimed at fostering greater cooperation and understanding among South African youth from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Van Rooyen, along with her fellow bursars, will embark on an extensive programme that includes city visits and interactive activities designed to encourage leadership, open debates, and mutual respect.

Van Rooyen's selection for this award is a reflection of the UFS’ mission to transform lives and inspire excellence through quality education, research, and community involvement. Her commitment to serving the community aligns with the university's vision of promoting social justice and making a meaningful impact on society. Through various initiatives and projects, the UFS fosters a culture of active citizenship and encourages students to engage with local and global communities.

This journey will not only immerse Van Rooyen in British culture, but also allow her to explore its significance in the context of South African history. The tour will culminate in a farewell dinner on 28 November 2024, with the group departing for London on 29 November and returning to South Africa on 19 December 2024.

At the UFS, we pride ourselves on our vibrant research community, where students and faculty collaborate on groundbreaking projects that address pressing global challenges. Van Rooyen’s achievement highlights the university’s dedication to nurturing leaders who are not only academically proficient, but also socially conscious and community oriented.

The UFS community is incredibly proud of Van Rooyen's achievement and wishes her a rewarding and insightful experience on this journey. Her selection for the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary underscores her exceptional qualities and serves as an inspiration to all UFS students.

Congratulations, Kay-Leigh van Rooyen, on this outstanding accomplishment! We look forward to hearing about your experiences and the new perspectives you will bring back to enrich our university community.

#UFS #Vision130 #UFSProud #AbeBaileyBursary #UFSStudentAchievement 

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