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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

Six of our students on their way to Stanford Sophomore College
2014-08-21


Back, from the left are: Philip Kitsopoulos (BCom Law), Ulrich Kristen (Medicine)
and Stephan Erasmus (Medicine).

The university hosted a send-off function for our students who are about to attend a three-week seminar at Stanford Sophomore College (SoCo).

Six Kovsie students were selected to attend the seminar at the Stanford SoCo in September 2014. This programme is an immersive learning experience where participants attend class meetings during the morning. Their afternoons include class activities, explorations of Stanford, field trips as well as organised events.

UFS students were invited to apply for one of six SoCo courses in February 2014. After months of apprehension, the successful Kovsie applicants were announced in May this year.

These outstanding Kovsie students and the courses they will attend are:

  • Sebabatso Makafane, Vuyisile Kubeka and Philip Kitsopoulos – New Millennium Mix: Crossings of Race and Culture;
  • Ulrich Kristen – Resistance Writings in Nazi Germany;
  • Kaylene Pillay – Ghost Stories: Why the Dead Return and What They Want From Us; and
  • Stephan Erasmus – Responses to the AIDS Epidemic.

During the farewell function, Rudi Buys: Dean of Student Affairs, handed the students their flight tickets and visas. This was followed by messages of support from Dr Lis Lange, Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning, and Prof Neil Roos from the Centre for Africa Studies.

Prof Roos concluded the evening’s programme with some advice for these students. “Don’t go there and come back to copy the students and personalities you meet there. Go there and show your own characteristics to them.”

The six Kovsies will depart on 29 August and return home on 19 September 2014.

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