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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

Official opening: UFS earmarks R10-million to support national priorities
2006-02-06

 

The University of the Free State (UFS) is to align key areas of its academic and research efforts with national priorities through the introduction of five strategic clusters which would be funded by seedmoney of R10-million in 2006.

Speaking at the Official Opening of the UFS on Friday (3 February 2006), the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Frederick Fourie, said the academic and research work that will be done in the five strategic clusters would contribute to the development of Mangaung, the Free State, South Africa and Africa.

 “It makes sense to concentrate the university’s human resources, our infrastructure, financial resources and intellectual expertise to ensure that the UFS makes a contribution to the country and the African continent,” Prof Fourie said.

“Strategic clusters will be organised on the basis that these areas of knowledge could become in the short term the flagships of the UFS, meaning those areas where the university currently has or in the very near future is likely to have some competitive advantage,” Prof Fourie said.

According to Prof Fourie, this strategic-cluster approach will be in line with the approach being designed by the National Research Foundation (NRF) to take national priorities into account and would enhance the quality of scholarship at the UFS.

The five strategic areas in which research and academic investment at the UFS will be clustered are the following:

Enabling technologies / Technology for the future;
Food production, quality and food security for Africa;
Development;
Social transformation;
Water resource and ecosystem management;

“Such strategic clusters are understood not only as research areas but as areas that also encompass strong undergraduate and particularly postgraduate teaching and a potentially solid scientific basis for service learning and community service research,” Prof Fourie said.

Within each of these clusters specific niche areas will be identified. Clusters could focus on one or more aspects of a particular discipline or could involve more than one discipline in researching a particular issue.

He said not all academic work and research being done at the UFS would be clustered in this way. Sufficient resources and support have been put in place for general research excellence in the past five years.

“Some of the spin-offs can have an important impact on industrial development, for example in the chemicals industry and may also create a basis for cooperation with provincial, national and international partners,” he said. 

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
5 February 2006

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