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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

UFS to accredit providers of Off-Campus Accommodation to students in Bloemfontein
2017-06-30

The University of the Free State (UFS) has embarked on a process to accredit off-campus accommodation service providers in Bloemfontein who provide accommodation to its students.

“The decision to accredit off-campus accommodation service providers comes from a concern from the university management about the safety of students and the conditions under which some of our students live in off-campus accommodation. Student accommodation is a significant aspect of the success of the UFS and consequently good quality accommodation is important for each individual student to be successful in his/her studies,” says Mr Quintin Koetaan, Senior Director: Housing and Residence Affairs at the UFS.

The accreditation process entails a list of primary requirements, drafted with the cognisance of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, in terms of off-campus accommodation to which private providers must adhere in order to be accredited by the university. The requirements are in line with the Policy on the Minimum Norms and Standards for Student Housing at Public Universities (Government Gazette 39238, dated 29 September 2015).

According to Koetaan, the norms and standards as set out in the policy establish the foundation and assessment criteria for such accreditation of service providers by the UFS. “It has become necessary for the UFS to have a policy on off-campus accommodation, in order to protect the rights and interests of our students and that of the university,” says Koetaan.

Some of the primary requirements for accreditation by the UFS include the number of students that may be accommodated in each room, the quality of kitchens and kitchenettes, the number of ablution facilities, the existence of common rooms and house rules, general maintenance and cleaning, compliance with  relevant national, regional, and municipal legislative requirements regulating health and safety, provision for adequate access to the facility/establishment in case of medical and/or psychological emergency assistance being required by students, and the provision for access to emergency electricity and water facilities. Off-campus private accommodation service providers must also be in possession of approved Municipal building plans of their student accommodation facilities, as well as evidence confirming their compliance with these plans.

“Landlords and agents are also advised to become more involved in their student homes and to ensure that their properties are in good condition and secure enough for students to live in,” says Koetaan.

Off-campus private accommodation service providers have until 31 July 2017 to apply for accreditation. More information and application documentation for accreditation can be obtained by sending an email to housing@ufs.ac.za

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

 

 

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