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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

Work clouds and rhizomatic learning – Prof Johannes Cronjé teaches through technology in inaugural lecture
2014-09-29

Prof Johannes Cronjé 

Prof Johannes Cronjé has been appointed as visiting professor in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences in collaboration with the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The driving force behind his appointment is to develop young and upcoming scholars in the field of online and blended learning at our university.The title of Prof Cronjé’s inaugural lecture, ‘Tablets, Painkillers or Snake Oil – a Remedy for Education?’ suggested a compelling event. Prof Cronjé did not disappoint.

“We live in a world where we carry more information in our pockets than in our entire head,” Prof Cronjé remarked. Interesting fact: an iPhone 4 has 16 million times more processing power than the Apollo 11 – the spacecraft that put the first man on the moon.

If students carry this much processing power in their hands, what should we be teaching students? Prof Cronjé asked. “I believe the answer to that is: we should be teaching them to teach themselves.”

Presenting his inaugural lecture in the same way as he would to his students, Prof Cronjé had the entire audience within minutes vigorously participating in the event.

Prof Cronjé advocates a process called rhizomatic learning. Knowledge, he explained, grows in a similar way to rhizomes’ roots – inseparably connected and seemingly without beginning or end. “Learning is a social aspect: people learn from one another.”

Making use of freely-available online applications, Prof Cronjé demonstrated the power of technology in the classroom. “My objective is to use technology to make people enthusiastic and motivated about the learning process.” Using their smartphones, tablets and laptops, the audience could effortlessly participate through connecting to each other by means of a virtual work cloud. “Knowledge is being created in the room as it happens,” Prof Cronjé explained, “motivating you to participate in this learning experience.”

“There are three things you need for group work to be successful: a mutual goal, individual responsibility and positive interdependence. Then it is real cooperative learning,” Prof Cronjé concluded.

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