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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

Kovsies welcomes first-years into the fold
2015-01-20

Three first-year students from the Kestell residence that attended the first-year welcoming.
Photos: Johan Roux


 

Few life experiences are as exciting as becoming part of a university. On Friday 16 January 2015, Kovsies embraced our first-year students into our family after great anticipation.

That evening, first-years and their parents streamed to the Red Square on our Bloemfontein Campus where they were formally welcomed. This event also served to kick off the 2015 Gateway Programme – an orientation programme for all our first-years.

Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations, addressed the first-years and congratulated them on their excellent matric results.

“The fact that you are here is a testimony to the level you are able to work at,” Dr Makhetha said.“You will have fun and make friends at the UFS. Your friends will be from different backgrounds and speak different languages than you. Embrace it all. You are now a part of the UFS family.

President of the Student Representative Council (SRC), Mosa Leteane, also reassured first-years that they are where they belong – at a university that inspires excellence.“This is the only space where the university’s international relations give opportunity to first-years to travel abroad with our F1 Leadership for Change Programme,” Leteane said. “It is the only space where the rector openly talks to his students, without having an appointment. It is the only space in our country where no student goes hungry due to our No Student Hungry (NSH) Programme.”

The following evening provided a spectacular live show with well-known artists Karen Zoid and Vusi Mahlasela entertaining the crowd. They performed alongside the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO) that added even more dazzle to this Gateway/NSH first-years concert.

On Saturday 17 January, the new-comers had an opportunity to visit their respective faculties and get to know the staff and facilities a bit better.

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