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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

Researcher on polymer science on sabbatical in Qatar
2014-09-09

 

Prof Riaan Luyt
Photo: Supplied

Prof Riaan Luyt from the University of the Free State’s Qwaqwa Campus has started a 12-month sabbatical in Qatar. This follows an invitation by the Qatar University in Doha to work as a research professor at the university's Centre of Advanced Materials.

In the 21 years that he has spent on the Qwaqwa Campus, Prof Luyt has published more than 165 research papers in international scientific journals and has had over 1 850 citations by other international scientists. He also reviews scientific research on polymer science in more than 10 journals.

“There were no science laboratories when I first came here and I made it my mission to establish them as soon as possible as I was passionate about research then, as I am now,” said Prof Luyt.

He has supervised twenty five master’s and eight doctoral students and is currently supervising five master’s and six doctoral students. Prof Luyt also serves on the International Advisory Board of eXPRESS Polymer Letters – one of the leading polymer science journals.

In 2012, he was listed as the second-best researcher at the UFS and is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences. He has mentored many students who are now leaders in the industry. One of his current doctoral students came to the university as a student in the University Preparatory Programme (UPP), who had not passed matric well enough to be admitted. Yet, Prof Luyt mentored her to where she is today –  currently finalising her PhD in Polymer Science.

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