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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

New Clinical Skills Centre probably a first for South Africa
2010-08-13

Attending the sod-turning for the new building were, from the left: Prof. Driekie Hay (Vice-Rector: Teaching and Learning), Dr Santie van Vuuren (Head of the SAHP) and Prof. Gert van Zyl (Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences).
Photo: Leatitia Pienaar
 

The first sod for a Clinical Skills Centre at the School for Allied Health Professions (SAHP) at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) was turned this week. This centre is probably a first for South Africa, says Dr Santie van Vuuren, Head of the SAHP.

The project is the original initiative of Dr Van Vuuren and is focused on affording undergraduate students in Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Nutrition and Dietetics and Optometry the opportunity to master their clinical professional skills.

The new building will include three skills venues and a computer laboratory. The building will be developed to contain, among others, a wheelchair track for physically disabled persons.

Future plans for the use of this pioneering facility in the training of persons in allied health professions include the development of a continued professional development programme for qualified persons, as well as a service delivery component which focuses on community empowerment.

It is aimed that the building will be completed by late next year.

 

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