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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

UFS establishes a Postgraduate office
2007-07-18

The University of the Free State (UFS) will establish a postgraduate office that will serve as a one-stop service for the co-ordination of academic support services for postgraduate students.

According to the Director: Research Development at the UFS, Prof Frans Swanepoel, the primary purpose of the Postgraduate Office is to provide co-ordination and support services for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as academic staff across the University.

“Guided by values such as intellectual inquiry, innovation, collegiality, integrity and efficiency, the Postgraduate Office will seek to foster a challenging, inclusive and supportive environment for postgraduate teaching, learning, research and scholarship; and will strive to engage students in the vibrant life of a research university”, Prof Swanepoel said.

All sectors of the University, namely students, faculties and staff, stand to benefit from the establishment of this office. Amongst other benefits for these sectors, postgraduate students and postdoctoral research fellows will have their interests promoted in synergy with faculty and departmental facilities. On the other hand, the office will provide a critical resource to the faculties in the form of a single database of postgraduate students, postgraduate topics, supervisors and funding opportunities. Furthermore, it will serve as a useful resource and base for training and information for younger and less experienced staff members.

The establishment of this office will be undertaken in two phases. The first phase will focus on the most critical areas that will make an immediate impact and the second phase on those areas that are not as urgent.

Areas that will be prioritised include the appointment of a manager and co-ordination of stakeholders, the provision of information and communication, useful resources for the UFS, policy administration and monitoring, postgraduate supervisors’ facilitation, recruitment activities, advice and referral, and postgraduate scholarship and bursary management.

The less urgent components of the office will be the development and implementation of academic and professional support programmes, the formation of a research information commons to create an integrated learning environment for postgraduate students, and the development of a postgraduate association or a postgraduate students’ liaison committee to provide a recognised channel of communication between postgraduate students and the University authorities.

The Postgraduate Office will form a vital component of the Directorate Research Development (DRD) at the UFS because of its experience and a noteworthy track record with regard to a facilitative and co-ordinating role that would be essential for the office.

“Establishing the Postgraduate Office as part of the Directorate would give the Centre the necessary links to the research-related issues that are important to most of the postgraduate students at the UFS. Of essential importance will be the linkages with the full spectrum of Strategic Clusters”, Prof Swanepoel explained.

“An important component of the Postgraduate Office will be related to international students and international opportunities for UFS postgraduate students. As the Office for Internationalisation has similarly been placed within the Directorate, the work of the Postgraduate Office will be facilitated by similar placement within the same Directorate”, he concluded.

Media release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@mail.ufs.ac.za  
18 July 2007
 

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