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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

Young language Einstein set for Europe
2017-07-10

Description: Young language Einstein set for Europe Tags: Recipient of UFS Senate medal receives Erasmus Mundus master’s bursary.  

Willem Carel Brink will be studying in France and Italy
for the next 
two years as part of his master’s
degree programme
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

German, French, English and even Latin are just a few of the languages known by Kovsies’ own language guru, Willem Carel Brink.

This arty junior lecturer and 2015 Senate and Dean’s medal recipient at the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State (UFS) received the Erasmus-Mundus bursary to conduct his master’s degree under the Erasmus Mundus Master en Cultures Littératures Européennes (CLE) title. He departs for Europe in September. “It is a structured interdisciplinary study which focuses on European literature, culture and other aspects,” Willem says. The subject for his thesis will be determined during the duration of the course.

Two-year course under Erasmus Mundus 
The Erasmus CLE master’s is a two-year course which is presented by five partner universities in France, Senegal, Italy and Greece. Students are expected to indicate at which universities they want to study but cannot spend both years at the same university. “France was my first choice, because I know the language – which was a prerequisite for selection,” said Willem. He is fluent in Afrikaans, English, German and French! 

“I will spend my second year in Bologna, Italy,” he said. It is therefore also expected that he does an Italian course during the first year to prepare him for the second year in Italy.

Future collaboration with UFS a prospect
Future collaborations between him and the language departments at the UFS are possible prospects for the future when he returns. “What makes this degree especially attractive to me is that it has value in terms of the local environment in the teaching of European languages and literature.” 

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