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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

Romania and UFS work together on diagnostic programme
2009-04-28

 
Here are, from the left: Dr William Rae with Prof. Chirvase and Prof. Caramihai of the Romanian research team during their visit to Bloemfontein.
Photo: Supplied
 
A group of academics of Romania visited the Department of Medical Physics of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently. Proff. Mihai Caramihai and Ana Chirvase are senior researchers of the Facultatea de Automatica & Calculatoare, Universitatea Politehnica Bucuresti who are working together with Prof. Charles Herbst and Dr William Rae of the UFS on the project MAmmary Malignancy Modelling using Artificial intelligence, ROmania South Africa, or Mamma Rosa. It is part of a larger local project aimed at implementing a computer-aided diagnosis programme (CAD), designed within the UFS's Department of Medical Physics, and which will take into account some of the South African requirements for computerised diagnostic radiology support. The National Research Foundation (NRF) provided travel funding and Prof. Herbst and Dr Rae visited Bucharest in November 2008 to collaborate with the Romanians. The visiting Romanian researchers were involved in a similar project where they were planning to model the changes in tumours as they grow and as they are treated. Dr Rae says there are many synergies between the two departments. The project has many aspects and there are several possibilities for related sub-projects. As a result the UFS has been able to attract three people to be involved in the project and they will do their Ph.Ds with the UFS. On the visit to Bloemfontein the roles of the researchers in the project were defined and the programme for the three-year collaboration was established. The stimulus created as a result of this collaboration has resulted in projects that will continue for at least the next four years.

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