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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

New Rector and Chancellor inaugurated at UFS
2003-02-07

NEW RECTOR AND CHANCELLOR INAUGURATED AT UFS

 Newly inaugurated Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State, Prof Frederick Fourie, has recommitted the university to the service of the broader community, through the pursuit of academic excellence and contributing to building a non-racial, democratic and just South Africa.

To make this a reality Prof Fourie proposed a social contract or accord between university constituencies and the community to chart the way forward to establishing a university that can meet the challenges of a developing democracy.

Prof Fourie was speaking at his inauguration ceremony on the Bloemfontein campus, where the former Ambassador to the United States, Dr Franklin Sonn, was also inaugurated as Chancellor of the UFS.

The twin inauguration ceremony – the first in the history of the UFS - was attended by former President Nelson Mandela, Education Minister, Kader Asmal, Free State Premier Winki Direko, and the executive mayor of Mangaung, Mr Pappie Mokoena, who all endorsed the appointments as evidence of the transformation of the UFS.

According to Prof Fourie, the greatest contribution that any university could make to social and economic development in South Africa was by being an excellent university that encouraged critical inquiry, scientific knowledge as well as community service.

“So whilst we cherish and foster the continuity of the university as part of the ageold international tradition of universities, this University embraces its particular role in this country now, embraces the changes in the form and scope of its role in this crucial period of our history. We are committed to making a real difference to the new nation,” he said.

His vision for the UFS was “to be a university of excellence, equity and innovation – a leader in research, teaching, community service, adult learning, transformation, non-racialism, non-sexism, multi-culturality and multilingualism – a contributor to our country and our continent’s growth and development – a truly South African university”.

Prof Fourie said the recent incorporation of the Qwaqwa campus of the University of the North into the University of the Free State, which is the first such incorporation to take place, would contribute to broadening access for poor communities to higher education. Introducing an innovation to the inauguration ceremony, Prof Fourie and the UFS staff pledged to their commitment to excellence and justice, quality and equity. Fourie is the 13th Rector of the University of the Free State, succeeding Prof. Stef Coetzee, and Dr Sonn is the 6th Chancellor, succeeding Ms Winkie Direko, Premier of the Free State.

In his inaugural address, Dr Sonn said the significance of today’s ceremony was that the UFS - as a former institution of the Afrikaner – had chosen to walk the path of justice and not merely survival. “This university has seemingly liberated itself. It is inclusively South African.

He said the academic community must play its role of vigilance and not indifference”. Referring to the stature of former president Mandela in international affairs, Dr Sonn said: “We must bring the weight ot science and critical analysis and interpretation to bear in support of Madiba and other moral giants.”
 

 

Inauguration Speech by Prof. Frederick C.v.N. Fourie  (PDF format)

Inauguration Speech by Dr Franklin A. Sonn (PDF format)

Statement by the Minister of Education, Professor Kader Asmal (PDF format)

Speech by Prof. Viljoen (PDF format)

Speech by Executive Mayor Mokoena - Mangaung Local Municipality (PDF format)

 

 

 

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