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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 appoints Dr Derek Swemmer as Registrar
2010-09-30

Dr Derek Swemmer

The University of the Free State (UFS) has appointed Dr Derek Swemmer, current Registrar of the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), as its Registrar.

Dr Swemmer, who is currently recognised as one of the most experienced, competent and outstanding registrars in South Africa, will join the UFS as from 1 October 2010. He was Registrar at WITS since 1995.

“I am enthusiastic at the thought of working at the UFS under its new leadership and in a time of change. This appointment creates the opportunity for me to assess the many existing practices of the UFS and to seek to enhance these based on my own experience at WITS,” he said.

Dr Swemmer started his academic career as a part-time student assistant at the University of Pretoria (UP) in 1974. He also taught at the Christ’s Hospital Public School in the United Kingdom and was a full-time lecturer in the Department of English at the University of South Africa (UNISA) until he joined WITS as Personal Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal in 1985.

Dr Swemmer holds a D Litt et Phil in English from the University of South Africa. He received numerous awards including the South African Golden Key International Honours Society Chapter Adviser of the Year in 2006 and 2008, an extraordinary second Certificate of Honour by the International Education Association of South Africa and the Golden Key International Leadership Council President’s Award.

Dr Swemmer chaired, amongst others, the WITS Issues Management Group and the WITS Crisis Committee; and was an Honorary Treasurer of the International Education Association of South Africa and an Honorary Secretary of the English Academy of Southern Africa.

He authored, co-authored and co-edited a number of text books, journals and magazines. He also delivered a number of papers at national and international conferences.

Dr Swemmer will be taking up the position as the single registrar of the UFS.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
29 September 2010
 

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