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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 academics nominated for NSTF Awards
2016-05-19

Description: Zakkie Pretorius Tags: Zakkie Pretorius

Prof Zakkie Pretorius

Prof Zakkie Pretorius and Prof Maryke Labuschagne, researchers in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), have been nominated for the 2016 awards of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) in partnership with South32.

The NSTF awards recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering, and technology (SET) and innovation for researchers and other SET-related professionals. The awards are referred to as the ‘Science Oscars’ of South Africa, as they are the largest, most comprehensive, and most sought-after national Awards of their kind. Among other things, the NSTF aims to celebrate, recognise, and reward excellence in science, engineering, technology and innovation within the SET sectors.

Prof Pretorius was short-listed as a finalist in the category: Lifetime Award for an outstanding contribution to SET and innovation by an individual over a period of 15 years or more.

Description: Maryke Labuschagne Tags: Maryke Labuschagne

Prof Maryke Labuschagne

He works on crop quality and disease resistance in the field crops research chair headed by Prof Labuschagne in the Department of Plant Sciences. Disease-resistance breeding is a continuation of the internationally-acclaimed wheat rust research that Prof Pretorius has been conducting during his career.

Prof Labuschagne is a finalist in the category: Special Award in Crop Science and Food Security. This is a special award by the NSTF this year, in honour of the 2016 International Year of Pulses, as declared by the United Nations.

Prof Labuschagne heads the research chair on quality and diseases in field crops at the UFS. Her research, and that of her students, focuses on the genetic improvement of food security crops in Africa, including such staples as maize and cassava.

At a Gala Dinner on 30 June 2016, the finalists will be honoured before the Minister of Science and Technology, the patron of the occasion, announces the winners of the 2015/2016 awards.   

 

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