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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

PSP rejuvenating the South African professoriate
2016-10-25

Description: Dr Olihile Sebolai  Tags: Dr Olihile Sebolai

Dr Olihile Sebolai (Microbiology) is
one of two Fulbright scholars the
UFS Prestige Scholars’ Programme
has produced. He was a Fulbright
scholar at the University of Missouri
(Kansas City) and before that
conducted work at the University
of Birmingham in the UK.
Photo: Anja Aucamp

Twenty years. That is the difference between the average age of a UFS Prestige Scholar (35) and the average age of a South African academic (55). Since its inception in 2011, the UFS’s Prestige Scholars’ Programme (PSP) has pro-actively addressed the ageing profile of academia and the need to transform the social composition of the South African academy. In doing so it has generated more than R67 million in research funding, including R10 million in student and post-doctoral funding.

The programme seeks to identify, cultivate and promote outstanding scholarship among “young” members of the UFS academic staff – those who have acquired a doctorate within the last five years. It provides support (funding applications, report writing, etc.) and helps with international placements in order to accelerate the establishment of an international footprint in expectation of the participants’ entry into the professoriate.

The programme mentors scholars from five faculties at the UFS. PSP scholars have conducted research and established collaborations in North America, Europe and Japan at institutions such as Harvard, UCLA, Cornell University, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of British Columbia, Oxford University, Cambridge University, University of Manchester, University of Birmingham, Basel University, University of Bologna, Leiden University, Uppsala University, Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology and Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine.

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