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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

National Arts Council opens doors for students in Drama and Theatre Arts
2017-06-29

Description: National Arts Council opens doors for students  Tags: National Arts Council opens doors for students

Four postgraduate students from the University of the
Free State received bursaries from the National Arts
Council this year. They are, from the left: Gerrit Fourie,
Maryn Hattingh, Prof Pieter Venter, Programme Director
of drama at the UFS, Stella Nortier, and Franco de Wet. 
Photo: Esté Strydom

Thanks to bursaries from the National Arts Council (NAC), many students are finding it easier to study Drama and Theatre Arts, the discipline is able to offer more job opportunities, and it provides an opportunity to those who probably would never have had the chance. This is according to Prof Nico Luwes, Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of the Free State (UFS).

This year, several students from the UFS, including 12 undergraduates and four postgraduates, are again beneficiaries of NAC bursaries to the value of roughly R206 000 – about R150 000 of which will be used for undergraduate studies and R56 000 for postgraduate studies. The UFS was awarded the same amount for undergraduate students in the previous year, but didn’t then receive NAC bursaries for postgraduate studies.

Good relationship with NAC over many years
The UFS has received NAC bursaries since 2005, and Prof Luwes says the university’s good relationship with the council runs over many years. “They are very happy with the feedback on our students’ achievements,” he says.

“Although Dramatic Arts is a matric subject, the provincial department of education does not support students with education bursaries for this subject. With bursaries from the National Arts Council, students can thus study to become theatre artists, and work as teachers for the Dramatic Arts in schools.”

Alumni stand out in entertainment industry
Prof Luwes says his department provides students the opportunity to do performances and practical exams in English, Afrikaans, and Sesotho. This is done to give all students an equal opportunity to excel. “In addition, several of our alumni have achieved success in the entertainment industry, and our staff members often feature in professional performances at arts festivals.”

Undergraduate students who were awarded NAC bursaries:
•    Jolene Swartz
•    Boitumelo Mohutsioa
•    René Lombard
•    Mandisa Wiso
•    Thapelo Mabona
•    Charlize Oberholster
•    Thembisile Baai
•    Naledi Maolusi
•    Mbuyiselo Nqodi
•    Vuyiswa Mxasa
•    Deandi Scholtz
•    Dylan Britz

Postgraduate students who were awarded NAC bursaries:

•    Gerrit Fourie
•    Maryn Hattingh
•    Stella Nortier
•    Franco de Wet

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