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26 March 2018 Photo Pixabay
Back to the drawing board to save water
We’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands.

Dr Cindé Greyling, a University of the Free State (UFS) DiMTEC (Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa) alumni, studied drought mitigation with a strong focus on communicating important water-saving information. 

Can we run out of water?
Yes, and no, says Dr Greyling. “To our knowledge, water is not ‘leaking’ through our atmosphere. We have what we have, but that doesn’t mean we will have enough clean, fresh water forever. Nature has a magnificent way of purifying water through the water cycle. We, on the other hand, must use a lot of money and energy to purify water. Also, we’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands. The other problem is a simple supply and demand scenario. More people will need more water, but not only that, population growth calls for industry development and increased food supplies – all of which require more water.”    

A war over water
Besides some Hollywood impressions, it is difficult to imagine a war over water, but it is possible. “Some experts are convinced that we are heading there, and others claim that such tensions already exist. Personally, I don’t favour these kinds of shock tactics (or truths) – social research has shown us that it rarely leads to behavioural changes. We can learn a lot from what was has been done in Cape Town. Although we all think people were bombarded with ‘Day-Zero’-scares, they were actually encouraged to adapt their behaviour with a communication campaign that hardly ever used the term ‘Day-Zero’. This approach mobilised citizens to reach record lows of water usage.” 

Adapt a new normal
Dr Greyling encourages the “new normal” set in motion by Capetonians. “Water consciousness is needed, even when the rain comes again. We’ve taken water for granted for too long. As consumers, we have the power to turn this situation around – drop for drop. Be aware about the amount of water you use, how you use it, and for what. Keep in mind that any wastage and pollution (of ‘dry’ things) also wastes and pollutes water. Generally, we need to behave better regarding consumption.”  

News Archive

UFS to increase tuition fees for 2017 with 8%
2016-12-07

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the institution’s budget for 2017 during its quarterly meeting on Friday 2 December 2016, which was held on the Bloemfontein Campus. A general increase of 8% in tuition fees and 8% in housing and residence fees were also approved.

The approved increase in fees is in line with the recommendations by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, on 19 September 2016. The increases were approved by Council, with the understanding that it would be paid by the Department of Higher Education and Training by means of the fee adjustment grant for qualifying students with a combined family income of not more than R600 000 per annum.

“The university management is aware of the economic realities in South Africa, as well as the financial pressure households are experiencing. The long-term financial sustainability of the UFS, as well as the financial constraints which impact teaching and learning, research, and community service, continue to remain of utmost importance to the Council,” said Prof Nicky Morgan, acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

According to Prof Morgan, the average fees per programme at the UFS are in almost all instances the lowest when measured against the fees of comparable universities. This will remain in 2017, even if the 8% increase in tuition fees approved by Council is taken into account.

“The university management stated its pro-poor approach to student funding on several occasions; also that academically deserving students from poor and working class families should receive substantial financial support. For this reason – also because it does not place a burden on poor and working-class families – an increase in tuition fees aligned with the DHET proposal was submitted to Council for approval. The presidents of the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campus Student Representative Councils were present and participated in the discussion on fees – also when Council approved the increase,” said Prof Morgan.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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