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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

South Campus first in SA to introduce new online platform for educators
2016-05-25

Description: South Campus online platform for educators  Tags: South Campus online platform for educators

Dr Whitty Green (DHET), Phillip Dikgomo (NDBE), Ernst Stals (Free State Department of Education), Isaac Mogotsi (Nothern Cape Department of Education), Tsatsi Montso (Free State Department of Education), Prof Daniella Coetzee (Principal: South Campus), Steven Bailey (Academic Partnerships), and Prof Judy Zimny (Academic Partnerships)
Photo: Eugene Seegers

The South Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) has become the first in South Africa to introduce a completely online platform for educators to obtain the Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) in either Foundation, Intermediate, or Senior Phase.

Beginning with the first start date of 4 July 2016, this platform will be offered in nine or ten 8-week sessions. It will provide educators the opportunity to complete these certificates in 18-20 months compared to the 24 months usually required by part-time university students.  Academic and technological support will also be provided.

Unique platform

Prof Daniella Coetzee, Principal of South Campus, said that she is thrilled, “as this opportunity for educators to earn a qualification 100% online - is a first for both the UFS and South Africa.”  This opportunity represents tremendous strides in providing options for South African educators.

According to Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, human connectivity is a key component of education: “We should never reduce education to a stranger at a distance without any human interaction. That is also why the UFS has been consistent in promoting not only its Academic Project, but the Human Project as well.” He said that it would not be possible to extend second-chance opportunities to students without partnerships with government, non-profit organisations, local and international academic partners, and other external stakeholders.

Specific challenges addressed

In her presentation, Prof Judy Zimny, who is affiliated with Academic Partnerships (a company that has supported more than 40 universities in providing high-quality online programmes for educators) aligned a number of the challenges described by South African leaders in supporting educators with opportunities now available through online education as a result of recent strides in learning technologies.

Various members of the national education sector were also present at the workshop to give their input: Isaac Mogotsi (Northern Cape Department of Education), Phillip Dikgomo (National Department of Basic Education - NDBE), Dr Whitty Green (Department of Higher Education and Training - DHET), Tsatsi Montso (Free State Department of Education), and Ernst Stals (Free State Department of Education).

For educators interested in pursuing an Advanced Teaching Certificate (ACT), the website will soon be populated with all admission and enrolment information for programmes starting on 4 July 2016, 29 August 2016, and 24 October 2016.

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