Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019
Previous Archive
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

When you are deaf, you have to work very hard to join in the conversation
2014-09-11

 

Dr Magteld Smith

A researcher at the University of the Free State is part of an overseas audiological breakthrough, after receiving a newly developed cochlear implant processor.

Dr Magteld Smith, researcher at the University of the Free State’s Department of Otorhinolaryngology, is the first South African to receive the Rondo cochlear implant processor from Med-El in Austria, manufacturers of cochlear implants and audiology-assisting appliances.

In the field of cochlear implants, the Rondo device is very advanced in the sense that the single-unit device is wireless and easily adapts to the sound of various environments (i.e. nature, conference halls, planes and phones). It also enables the receiver of a cochlear implant to hear more than one sound at a time – something that wasn’t previously possible.

Dr Smith tells about the meaning of the device in just a short time: “For the first time I can take a walk with my dog and hear both our footsteps on the gravel of the dirt road. I can hear my own footsteps, as well as the chirping of three different birds. All at the same time.”

Dr Smith, who is currently devoting her research to the medical-social model of the global organisation, International Classification of Functioning, Disabilities and Health, as well as research in all fields of deafness, relates the anxiety, frustration and depression which formed part of her daily existence. It also complicated and undermined her academic participation.

“Deafness is very traumatic. When you are deaf, you have to work so much harder to compete in a hearing world and to join in the conversation. Because of your deafness you become anxious about misunderstandings in the workplace.”

Dr Smith is working hard and constantly not to take a back seat in the academy due to her deafness. On completion of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship programme, she received a certificate signed by the American president, Barack Obama, and was named as one of the top three researchers among 400 researchers from 192 countries. Only two South Africans are selected every year by the American State and International Institute for Education. 
 
In June this year, she delivered a presentation of her work and research at the 13th International Conference on Cochlear Implants in Munich, Germany. In July this year, she delivered a presentation at the 5th International Conference for Global Hearing Health. In August she was awarded a scholarship from the Golden Key International Honour Society for outstanding scholastic proficiency and academic merit.

“As a child, my parents were told that I was ineducably disabled. Today, I am grateful for the endless speech therapy since my toddler days, and to my dear mother, Jo, and late father, Chris Boshoff, and their firm belief in God which made them believe in me as a person with a congenital deafness. I am grateful for their unconditional love, endless patience, encouragement and support through my long journey in a competitive hearing world. This, together with the help of technology, enabled me to make a significant contribution to the academic world. Everything in my life is undeserved grace, pure kindness.” 
 
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept