Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
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

Tutu-Jonker Prestige Lecture Series tackles reconciliation
2017-11-13

Description: ' 000 a Tutu Jonker Prestige Lecture Tags: Tutu Jonker Prestige Lecture

Prof Rian Venter; Prof Eddy van der Borght, guest speaker from Vrije
Universiteit, Amsterdam; and Prof Fanie Snyman, Dean of the Faculty
of Theology and Religion at the UFS.
Photo: Supplied

The Faculty of Theology and Religion recently hosted the annual Tutu-Jonker Prestige Lecture Series at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). The purpose of the lecture series is to address modern-day and pressing social challenges from a theological and religious perspective.

With the theme Religions and reconciliation of conflicting identities, guest speaker and Desmond Tutu Chair on reconciliation at the Faculty of Theology: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Prof Eddy van der Borght, spoke about the reformation in the context of shifting European identity formations.

Reconciliation versus social identity

“My focus is on what the Christian concept of reconciliation means for reconciliation in society,” said Prof Van der Borght. He deliberated the global problem of conflict generated by diverse social identities. He also emphasised that religion has huge resources to contribute towards overcoming conflicting identities.

“The theory is that religions know about reconciliation, while in practice it is much more complicated, because often religions are part of the problem of conflict,” he says. He said religions are often the problem in social cultural identities, especially regarding conflict involving different nations, racial, and ethnic groups.

Honouring prominent theologians Tutu and Jonker

The name Tutu-Jonker originates from the two theologians, Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the late Prof Willie Jonker, who are both regarded as prominent theologians known for their emphasis on reconciliation in South Africa. The significance of combining the two names is said to bring together two different theological traditions (Anglican and Reformed), cultural groups, and races.

Prof Fanie Snyman, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religion, said, “This will also serve the purpose of a welcoming culture at the faculty, embracing diversity and embodying reconciliation.” Both of these theologians received honorary doctorates in Theology from the UFS.

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