Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

School of Open Learning opens at our South Campus
2011-08-23

 

Prof Daniella Coetzee, Dean of the School of Open Learning at our South Campus

The University of the Free State (UFS) established a School of Open Learning at the South Campus in Bloemfontein. The activities of the new school are driven by a central principle: opening up access to those who have not had the opportunity to study at a higher-education institution because of geographical location, socio-economic circumstances or other factors. Programmes are delivered through a blended-learning model, which blends contact teaching with distance education. A new dean, Prof. Daniella Coetzee, was appointed to guide the establishment of the school.

The school will collaborate with the different faculties, and is currently managing the continuing education-sponsored endeavours of the Faculty of Education. These include projects for in-service training of teachers in Mathematics, Natural and Physical Sciences, Languages, Literacy, Economic and Management Sciences, Technology and various areas of Management and Leadership.

Apart from the training of currently serving teachers, the school and the Faculty of Education are also involved in the professional training of FET-college lecturers, and have recently been awarded an R17m injection by the Flemish Government to develop programmes and to further deliver in this area.

Collaboration with the Faculty of Law has also led to the prospect of managing a B.Iuris. programme aimed at the police force, commencing in 2012.

The University Preparation Programme (UPP), offering particular generic and optional subjects for students to enter into the formal university programmes, will also form part of the School of Open Learning.

 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept