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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

Students attend prestigious National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme
2014-08-22


From the left are: Thokozane Ngcongwane with Mbali Xaba and Thabo Kumalo (both third-year Physics and Chemistry students).

Three students from our Qwaqwa Campus – Thokozane Ngcongwane, Mbali Xaba and Thabo Kumalo – were recently selected to attend the prestigious National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP). The programme – in partnership with the National Research Foundation (NRF) – ran for two weeks at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town.

The project targets students from formerly disadvantaged institutions of higher learning, where astronomy and astrophysics are not offered.

Students are invited to apply for the programme, with emphasis placed on students majoring in mathematics and physics. Students from other fields are also invited to apply, though. The programme allows for the development of black astronomers and astrophysicists, which are in demand in the ever-growing environment of astronomy in South Africa.

“Topics such as gravitational lenses, black holes, stellar evolution and the mysteries of cosmology were presented and students were invited to engage with the speakers during and after the presentations,” said Ngcongwane, a third-year Zoology and Entomology student.

The programme challenged them to work on basic astrophysical concepts in groups while individual written assignments were part of the learning process as well.

“Given the lack of information about the complexities of astronomy the students had, this was the most ideal time to learn about all matters astronomy and astrophysics as lectures offered a lot to young and excited minds,” Ngcongwane said.

 

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