Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
21 May 2019 | Story Igno van Niekerk | Photo Stephen Collett
Digital storytelling
Collaborating for the common good are from left: Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, and Dr Johan van Zyl.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences quoted the Cat Stevens song I can’t keep it in, to capture the excitement surrounding the opening of a Digital Storytelling Lab on the Bloemfontein Campus on 10 May 2019.

After months of hard work by Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, as well as the staff of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Centre for Development Support, the Common Good First lab was completed just in time for the launch attended by about 50 delegates from other South African universities, as well as private and public institutions.

Stories meet technology

In a message, from Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, informed the audience that the launch heralded the joining of the old world of stories with the new world of digital technology. Julie Adair, Director of Digital Collaboration at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, welcomed the UFS as a partner to this international social innovation collaborative project in a video message. 

Dr Van Rooyen, the project manager for the UFS, explained how she got involved in the Common Good First project, what the benefits of digital storytelling are, as well as what opportunities the lab creates for cooperation between role players involved in social innovation projects. 

Why the Common Good First lab?

The purpose of the lab is to create a digital network to identify, showcase and connect social innovation projects in South Africa to one another and to universities around the world for research, student engagement and learning and teaching. The lab has been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment for recording and digitising the stories that result from social innovation projects.

In a live Skype session with Dr Il-Haam Petersen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and some of the recent successes of the digital stories in Philippi in the Western Cape were shared.

Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, UFS Director Community Engagement did the final honours by cutting the ribbon, declaring the lab open, and sharing the dream that the work done in this lab will contribute to positive relationships and cooperation between the university and the community, in making not only the university, but the country and the world a better place.


News Archive

A degree means nothing if you are not a decent human being, Vice-Chancellor tells first-years
2016-02-01

Description: Qwaqwa first-year welcoming 2016 Tags: Qwaqwa Campus

The 2016 Qwaqwa Campus first-year students received one of the warmest welcomes when the entire Rectorate and other senior UFS officials arrived to welcome them.

Leading the delegation was the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, whose captivating message was well received by students and those parents who were in attendance.

“What keeps me going is your determination to come to the University of the Free State to start your life. You have done the right thing; do not forget that you are smarter than you think,” said Prof Jansen.

“Each one of you has a story to tell. You had to overcome poverty, disadvantage and abuse,” he said.

Prof Jansen encouraged first-year students to do more than just obtain a degree whilst at the university.

“This university is good not only in ensuring you get the best qualifications. Graduating and continuing to disrespect women is not good enough. Graduating and still continuing to be biased against gay people is not good enough. Getting a degree and still thinking you are better than others just because you have money is not good enough. A degree means nothing if you are not a decent human being,” he added.

In his welcoming message, the SRC President, Paseka Sikhosana, highlighted the importance of academic excellence that is backed by human embrace.

“Human embrace and academic excellence are two very important aspects that we strive for. Five of our members will be graduating this year whilst six are Golden Key members. And we have a very huge task of bringing our campus closer to the community and the community closer to our campus in an attempt to make a difference in those communities,” he said.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept