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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

Prof Jonathan Jansen steps down as UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector
2016-05-16

Statement by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS (pdf)

Statement by Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson: UFS Council

Prof Jonathan Jansen will step down as Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS) on 31 August 2016.

He will take up an invitation as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in the USA in September 2016. The fellowship, which was awarded to him earlier this year, is an opportunity for him to further advance his career as an internationally renowned academic in education. Prof Jansen’s departure is a great loss for the university, but the Council accepts his decision to step down and pursue his academic career as well as other opportunities.

The Council is grateful for the vision and the inspirational leadership that Prof Jansen provided during his tenure at the UFS. He has led the university through difficult and complex times – from after the Reitz incident up until the recent student protest actions. He brought stability and respect for the university – nationally as well as internationally.

The Council appreciates Prof Jansen’s drive to further the academic performance and transformation of the UFS. To this end he was instrumental in the improvement of student success and graduation rates, the increase in the percentage of academic staff with doctoral qualifications, the increase in research outputs, the growth in staff diversity, and the growth in third-stream income.

Furthermore, Prof Jansen played a significant part in developing the UFS as a place where the embrace of diversity and the integration of the university provide a backdrop for academic excellence. Under his leadership, the UFS made great strides in fulfilling its social responsibility to serve the community. He was the right leader at the right time for the university.

On behalf of the Council and the entire university community, I thank him for his contributions as a capable, energetic and dedicated leader and wish him the best for his future.

Prof Jansen was appointed as Vice-Chancellor and Rector on 1 July 2009 and his term of office was extended for another five years by the Council on 1 July 2014. 

In the event that the position is not filled by the end of August 2016, Prof Nicky Morgan, current Vice-Rector: Operations at the UFS, will act as Vice-Chancellor and Rector. The Council will shortly start the process to appoint a successor through a national and international search.

Released by: Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
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Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
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