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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

Judge Ian van der Merwe unanimously re-elected as Chairperson of the UFS Council for a third term
2015-09-23


Judge Ian van der Merwe

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously re-elected Judge Ian van der Merwe as its Chairperson for another three years at its meeting on Friday 11 September 2015, which took place on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Judge Van der Merwe serves as Judge of the Free State High Court. He is an alumnus of the UFS and has been a member of the Council since 9 March 2007.

In accepting his re-election, Judge Van der Merwe said that he was honoured and grateful for the support. “I will do my best not to disappoint the Council and will do what is in the best interest of the UFS,” he said.

“The UFS is privileged to have in the person of Judge Van der Merwe a man of great public standing and a wealth of experience in the governance of universities, to continue to lead the Academic and Human Projects of the institution at such a critical moment in the history of South Africa”, said Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

Judge van der Merwe was elected as Chairperson of the UFS Council during a meeting on 20 November 2009 and was unanimously re-elected for a second term on 16 November 2012. His third term will commence on 1 January 2016.


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