Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
06 March 2020 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Supplied
Nomsa Mathontsi
Nomsa Mathontsi has been training with the South African senior women’s football team since Monday (03/02).

Whether she takes to the field or not, being part of the senior national women’s soccer team is already an accomplishment, says Nomsa Mathontsi. 

The BAdmin student in Economic and Management Sciences has been chosen for the Banyana Banyana squad for the first time. They face Lesotho on Sunday, 8 March 2020 in an international friendly in Johannesburg. There could be two Kovsies on the field, as Mating Monokoane, another University of the Free State student, was selected for Lesotho’s team. Both of them are midfielders.

The 21-year-old Mathontsi, who has been part of the Kovsie football team since 2018, says it will be a dream come true for her to wear the national colours. “Even if I don't get to play, I will still be proud of myself for being able to take on the challenge of going to camp and giving myself a chance to show my talent.”

“We have been together since Monday, 2 March 2020 and it has been the best experience, especially the fact that football has put me in the high-performance centre (South African Football Association girls’ academy), and now I get an opportunity to be with Banyana for the first time.”

“I was shocked when I got the call, but excited to face the challenge because it's never easy to get a call-up to Banyana, you need to work for it,” she says.

According to Mathontsi, who grew up in Mamelodi, Pretoria, her first love was athletics, but that changed during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“I was an athlete back in primary school and it just so happened that I was selected to play football, which I never really enjoyed. I also had the opportunity to be part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ceremonies, where I developed a love for football.”

News Archive

The solution to student food insecurity is a holistic approach
2017-02-10

Description: Dietetics read more Tags: Dietetics read more

Dr Louise van den Berg from the Department of
Nutrition and Dietetics says the University of the Free State
is taking steps to teach students how to budget and make
them aware how important food nutrition is.
Photo: Pixabay 

Research at the University of the Free State (UFS) has indicated that nearly 60% of students are victims of food insecurity and suffer from hunger most of the time. The research by the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences shows that a further 25% are food insecure but are not hungry most of the time.

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr Louise van den Berg, says food insecurity is common among student populations across the world. However, local research shows that it is almost double that of tertiary institutions in developed countries.

Food insecurity among students caught many people off-guard
Dr Van den Berg says in South Africa nobody had really looked at the problem until recently “It seems student food insecurity has caught many people off-guard.” She says people tend to think of tertiary students as a privileged group.

The research has now indicated how deep the problem really is on campus. The students that most likely go hungry are single, male, black or coloured, and are generally first-generation students.

They are also mostly undergraduates, those paying their studies from non-bank loans or bursary means, those not living with their parents or guardians or those that need to support somebody else financially.

The results further indicate that those that are likely to suffer from hunger seldom or never have enough money for food but have to borrow money for food, have to ask for food, sell items to get food or steal food.

“A healthy student is a
successful student.”

Bursary money send back home for parents to survive
Dr Van den Berg agrees that one of the main reasons for the situation is economic stress. Research has shown students rarely spend money on food when resources are scarce. Furthermore, parents of students studying with bursaries are not always able to fully support them on campus. Some students send bursary money back home for their parents to survive.

She says other factors that contribute to campus food insecurity are that all over the world universities have terminated catered food halls due to high costs. “To a large extent this has created a food desert for students and now they need to look after themselves.”

To throw money at the problem does not seem to be the answer. 

Students are food-uncertain beings
The research indicates that young people on campus do not know where to buy food, much less the correct, nutritional food they need. Dr Van den Berg says most universities are now aware of the problem and have been taking steps. This includes teaching students how to budget and making them aware how important nutrition is for their success and their responsibility for themselves.

Universities are also looking at private funding for food aid and food schemes. Dr Van den Berg says other solutions are the restructuring of bursary fees, student self-help initiatives and food gardens.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is taking the initiative to manage a food blog on the UFS website. It will also use other social media platforms to post food-preparation videos and recipes for students.

Dr Van den Berg says it is important to grow the 15.6% group of students who indicated they are food secure because a healthy student is a successful student.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept