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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

Founding meeting of the Advisory Panel of the International Institute of Diversity
2008-11-21

The University of the Free State (UFS) today (20 November 2008) successfully convened and hosted the founding meeting of the Advisory Panel of the International Institute of Diversity.

In the wake of the Reitz video incident, the UFS wishes to establish an institute that will study and promote transformation on the campus as a microcosm of the much broader socio-political challenges facing South Africa. It is hoped that in due course the UFS and the institution will develop the expertise and experience to help other organisations and societies in transition.

The institute will work closely with the Transformation Cluster – one of six strategic academic clusters already created as part of the university’s long-term strategic plans.

Given the transformation climate in which it finds itself, the university recognises that the guidance, support and direct involvement of thought leaders and other specialists in the field of transformation are critical to the design and operation of the proposed institute. To this end, the university has established an advisory panel for the institute. The Advisory Panel will give guidance to the Executive Director (to be appointed) in helping with the conceptualisation, design, and development of the institute, and the compilation of its business plan.

Brian Gibson Issue Management facilitated the meeting and is also responsible for the reporting on the meeting. The International Institute for Development and Ethics (IIDE) co-hosted and provided the secretarial support for the meeting.

 


The members of the advisory panel:  

(Click here to read more about the Panel Members)

External panel members:

Dr Clint Le Bruyns, Senior Lecturer in Public Theology and Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch .

Dr Sebiletso Mokone-Matabane, Chief Executive Officer, Sentech Limited.

Dr Andries Odendaal works in the field of conflict transformation with international agencies such as the United Nations, DANIDA and GTZ.

Prof. Lungisile Ntsebeza, National Research Foundation (NRF) Research Chair in Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa in the Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town.

Mr Roger Crawford, Executive Director for Government Affairs and Policy South Africa, Johnson & Johnson.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria 2001 to 2007.

Ms Zandile Mbele, Director of Plessey (PTY) Ltd. and the Transformation Executive for Dimension Data.

Dr André Keet, Director: Transdisciplinary Programme at the University of Fort Hare in October 2008 and part-time Commissioner with the Commission for Gender Equality.


Dr Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela is an associate professor in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Program in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University.

Dr Mpilo Pearl Sithole is a senior research specialist in the Democracy and Governance Research Programme at the Human Science Research Council.

Professor Steven Friedman, D.Litt. is Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg.

Representatives from UFS:

Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Academic Operations at the University of the Free State, and currently Acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Prof. Piet Erasmus, Interim Co-ordinator for the Cluster Transformation in Highly Diverse Societies.

Prof. Lucius Botes, Director of the Centre of Development Support and Programme Director of the Postgraduate Programme in Development Studies.

Prof. Philip Nel, Former Director of the Centre for Africa Studies at the UFS.
 

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