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2018-11-20 Sikholiwe Mdletshe rewarded with SA colours in Netball
2018-11-19 On Statues and Statutes: MT Steyn statue creates a vital precedent
2018-11-19 On Social Media, Racism, and Cannabis
2018-11-13 Campaigns are a loudhailer on violence
2018-11-13 UFS hosts ‘Land and Religion’ conference
2018-11-12 Laughter is a serious business
2018-11-12 OSM reaches out to community one note at a time
2018-11-12 December graduations to conclude the UFS academic year
2018-11-12 Inaugural lecture focuses on aspects of soil classification
2018-11-12 MT Steyn statue: Process going forward
2018-11-09 Our Relentless Water Dilemma
2018-11-06 TRC veteran delves into memory, love, and loss in annual Tutu-Jonker lecture
2018-11-06 Razia Adriaanse: Being a leader is about being yourself
2018-11-06 Matrics 2018: a shift from access to success urgently needed in higher education
2018-11-02 Grassroots Champions: Rising Above Challenges
2018-11-02 Top achievers rewarded during Excellence Awards
2018-11-01 Chemistry researcher mimics nature's elusive complexity
2018-10-31 Know your body: Early detection saves lives
2018-10-31 PhD students compete in three-minute thesis competition
2018-10-30 Promoting postgraduate excellence in research and innovative thinking
2018-10-30 iCAN contributes to a decolonised curriculum
2018-10-29 UFS pays tribute to former Rector
2018-10-29 Making the workplace humanised again
2018-10-29 Qwaqwa Campus students march for safety and improved social services
2018-10-26 UFS becomes one of the only three STEP accredited universities globally
2018-10-26 ‘The state must assume its rightful role’ says Parks Tau
2018-10-26 MENTAL HEALTH: It affects all of us
2018-10-26 Occupational therapy promotes health and well-being
2018-10-26 Kovsie Netball star selected to the national team
2018-10-25 UFS Postgraduate Education students attend orientation programme
2018-10-24 Geologist shares ground-breaking findings at Alex du Toit lecture
2018-10-23 Kovsie Advice: Exam edition
2018-10-22 Getting It Right. Or face economic collapse
2018-10-19 Itumeleng Tsatsi: Using Occupational Therapy to tackle mental health
2018-10-19 Conference evaluates impact of academia on public sector
2018-10-18 Big excitement about jumping academy
2018-10-15 Town planning: How McDonald’s did it
2018-10-11 UFS launch student business incubator project
2018-10-10 Two from Kovsies win Agricultural Student of the Year competition
2018-10-10 Kovsies Dream Team takes the netball crown
2018-10-10 International Cultural Diversity Festival builds bridges
2018-10-10 UFS School of Nursing gets funding for mental health project
2018-10-09 Chemistry lab on South Campus a UFS first
2018-10-09 International Studies Group excells
2018-10-08 Researching inequalities and higher education: towards human development for all
2018-10-06 Riveting, relevant issues raised at Geographical Conference
2018-10-05 MT Steyn statue: Public participation process concluded
2018-10-05 Fantastic year for Tyler on the track, road, and field
2018-10-04 New Senior Professor joins UFS Department of Agricultural Economics
2018-10-03 Using ethnomathematics to enhance understanding maths
2018-10-03 First ever netball final in Bloemfontein
2018-10-03 Empowering students to speak up about sexual violations
2018-10-02 UFS BRICS-PLUS tackles global challenges
2018-10-02 Better yourself at Adelaide Tambo Public Library
2018-10-01 UFS South Campus holds first ever SRC elections
2018-10-01 Book raises critical questions on meaning of ‘Africanness’
2018-09-27 KovsieSport crowns their best
2018-09-27 Netball final at home lie in wait for Kovsies
2018-09-26 New cardiac simulation lab revolutionises training
2018-09-26 Fifth successive hostel crown for Vishuis
2018-09-22 South African Doping Control Laboratory regains WADA accreditation
2018-09-21 Abe Bailey Bursary victor: Nkahiseng Ralepeli prepares to tour the UK
2018-09-21 Nominations: Representatives of the Convocation on the University Council
2018-09-19 Student Affairs host future UFS leaders during leadership conference
2018-09-18 Fintech to change the future of banking
2018-09-18 Full accreditation for UFS LLB degree
2018-09-18 Students urged to help combat crime
2018-09-18 Consecutive international win for OSM Camerata
2018-09-18 Soccer ladies relish challenge in Potch
2018-09-17 New Principal for Qwaqwa Campus
2018-09-17 Science: It’s a girl thing!
2018-09-14 Honouring great African leadership
2018-09-12 International colloquium to assess human development feasibility
2018-09-12 Architectural excellence celebrated at recent Sophia Gray lecture
2018-09-11 Outstanding Alumni awarded
2018-09-11 Congratulations UFS GradStar students
2018-09-10 Learning to hope
2018-09-10 Health forum celebrates 50 years of research
2018-09-07 Mathematician makes popular contribution to science
2018-09-05 Excellent start for Kovsies and Mamburu
2018-09-05 Save money, save paper, save the environment
2018-09-04 SABPP Qwaqwa Campus Student Chapter welcomes new members
2018-09-04 Political tolerance and maturity displayed during Qwaqwa Campus SRC elections
2018-09-04 Safety Week continues
2018-09-03 Burnout affects productivity in higher education, study finds
2018-09-03 Drama department gets moving with physical theatre
2018-09-03 New appreciation of GMOs after video screening
2018-08-31 UFS Mobile Clinic: an exemplary framework of innovation
2018-08-31 Application for 2019 NSFAS funding now open
2018-08-30 Haemophilia workshop the first of its kind at UFS
2018-08-29 Safety Week to address wellbeing of Kovsies
2018-08-29 Celebrating 50 years of Health Sciences research
2018-08-29 Think three minutes is a long time? Think again
2018-08-28 UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor responds to allegations in the media
2018-08-27 #WomenOfKovsies: Arina Engelbrecht advocates healthy living nationally
2018-08-27 #WomenOfKovsies: Prof LenkaBula foresees transformation at UFS
2018-08-27 Prof Thuli Madonsela persuades women to pursue their purpose
2018-08-24 Chemistry, changing the world to create a better future
2018-08-22 Prof Coetzee is retelling old stories in a new book
2018-08-20 #WomenofKovsies: Kesa praises the most important woman in her life
2018-08-20 Kovsie netball hungry to break the drought
2018-08-20 #WomenOfKovsies: Dr Höppener’s research affects access of rural youth to university
2018-08-17 Applications for 2019 are now open
2018-08-17 Kovsies rule Protea netball squad
2018-08-16 Public consultation on MT Steyn statue begins with exhibition
2018-08-16 Sixth edition of Kovsie Advice now available
2018-08-16 Teen motherhood is not child’s play
2018-08-16 Oral submissions regarding the review of the position of the MT Steyn statue
2018-08-14 #WomenofKovsies: Dr Lize Joubert on flowers and their favourite insects
2018-08-14 Media effectively used to save the giraffe
2018-08-13 #WomenofKovsies: Proteas next goal for Khanyisa
2018-08-13 UFS celebrates excellence through its research hubs
2018-08-13 Data analytics as key to student success
2018-08-13 Afromontane pioneering sustainable mountain research
2018-08-13 Technology and mentoring key in UFS approach to learner success
2018-08-08 Prominent voices on prevalent discourse from the UFS
2018-08-08 #WomensMonth: Art exhibition honours courageous South African women
2018-08-07 Reitz: the road to reconciliation nearly a decade later
2018-08-06 #WomenofKovsies: Bringing automation and self-service to students and staff
2018-08-03 Reputable journal calls for editorial services of UFS researcher
2018-07-31 Décor and building products showcased at BloemBuild Expo
2018-07-30 36th annual Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumni Awards: call for nominations
2018-07-30 Politics of land reform discussed during inaugural Thought-Leader Series
2018-07-27 Tennis the bright spark at USSA
2018-07-27 Grant furthers development of eco cars and green buildings
2018-07-24 Public consultation on MT Steyn statue begins with exhibition
2018-07-24 Office dynamo obtains master’s in reconciliation
2018-07-24 Student safety at centre of UFS agenda
2018-07-23 Pilot exchange programme between UFS and University of Wisconsin
2018-07-20 Research informs about sustainable use of fresh water for food production
2018-07-20 Speaking about the politics of land reform at UFS Thought-Leader Series on 26 July 2018
2018-07-19 AEVGI advances Next-Generation Sequencing in Africa
2018-07-18 Passionate teachers graduate from pioneering online programme
2018-07-18 Robust reform rhetoric shared at the inaugural UFS Thought-Leader Series
2018-07-18 Politics of land reform to be discussed in the inaugural UFS Thought-Leader Series on 26 July 2018
2018-07-18 Khanyisa Chawane claims victory as best netball player
2018-07-16 Critical Leadership Key to Social Change
2018-07-13 Sikhululekile Luwaca named 100 Young Mandelas of the future
2018-07-12 Land reform focus of inaugural UFS Thought-Leader Series
2018-07-11 GLS explores global view on gender and intersectionality
2018-07-10 Global Leadership Summit starts off on a high note
2018-07-10 Rynardt and Lynique selected for SA team at World Cup
2018-07-10 Inaugural lecture focuses on understanding society
2018-07-10 USSA hockey – lots to play for
2018-07-10 Centre delivers 48 masters’ and 1 PhD in Sustainable Agriculture
2018-07-06 World and Africa record for Louzanne
2018-07-06 Five PhDs for Chemistry group at June 2018 graduation
2018-07-06 Prestigious academic medals awarded to outstanding UFS students
2018-07-06 Safety tips for the road ahead
2018-07-05 SANAS rates UFS level 4 on BBBEE compliance
2018-07-04 Shimlas off to USSA tournament looking to improve further
2018-07-03 UFS June graduation ceremonies inspire South Africa
2018-07-03 Prof Peacock elected president of World Society of Victimology
2018-07-02 Hanneke Meyer obtains master’s with distinction at 75
2018-06-29 Learners at youth dialogue encouraged to know their human rights
2018-06-29 Land reform focus of discussion at Vrystaat Arts Festival
2018-06-28 Reitz book wins sought-after UFS Book Prize
2018-06-28 Security officer overcoming obstacles to obtain master’s
2018-06-27 Kovsie netball out to break drought
2018-06-21 Another feather in the cap for UFS Communication and Marketing
2018-06-21 Education researcher tackles realities of Fourth Industrial Revolution
2018-06-21 KC the country’s best netballer
2018-06-20 UFS part of international gender research project
2018-06-20 Justice Malala and Bernard Agulhas build students’ business acumen
2018-06-18 Flash Facts Competition reveals best of the best
2018-06-15 Kovsies dominate SA students’ athletics team
2018-06-15 ‘Go Bokke’, says rector to wealth of Kovsies in Bok management team
2018-06-15 Role of (Orange) Free State youth prior and after 1976 student uprising
2018-06-14 Dealing with the trauma of sexual assault
2018-06-14 June graduations to highlight graduates’ achievements
2018-06-14 Next Chapter Green Ribbon campaign addresses mental health
2018-06-12 Young researcher to jet out to UK
2018-06-08 Historic Lamont-Hussey telescope exhibit launched on Naval Hill Planetarium
2018-06-07 Quaternary International volume dedicated to UFS research fellow
2018-06-07 Emotional safety during examinations
2018-06-05 Digging up truth: South Africa was way different to what you thought
2018-06-02 Call for nominations: Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumni Awards
2018-06-01 Future Kovsies love Qwaqwa Campus
2018-06-01 Springbok Ox Nche the ultimate example, says coach
2018-06-01 Dialogue on LGBTIQ+ rights in the legal profession reveals slow progress
2018-06-01 Transforming the curriculum creatively
2018-05-31 Well-known activist delivers 34th DF Malherbe Memorial Lecture
2018-05-31 Microbiology department receives Research Chair in Pathogenic Yeasts
2018-05-31 Celebrating Africa the UFS way
2018-05-30 Future of MT Steyn statue discussed
2018-05-29 Africa Day Memorial Lecture explores future of statues
2018-05-29 Dr Höppener’s book explores sustainable development
2018-05-28 NRF-rated researchers increase substantially
2018-05-25 #UFSAfricaWeek: Make this Africa Day a day of reflection
2018-05-25 Kovsies back Margo as Miss SA Top-12 finalist
2018-05-24 Trauma and the role of dance in peace making
2018-05-24 UFS alumnus wins National Liberty Radio Award
2018-05-24 #UFSAfricaWeek: Focus on Dr Tapiwa Madimu
2018-05-24 UFS and CUT joint SASUF Research Symposium discusses urbanisation
2018-05-24 Qwaqwa Campus Open Day
2018-05-23 Choose excellence and moral uprightness, graduates told
2018-05-22 #UFSAfricaWeek: Focus on Dr Tariro Kamuti
2018-05-22 #UFSAfricaWeek: Sharing a meal to celebrate Africa Day
2018-05-22 Gosego Moroka reflects on being an ‘Abe’
2018-05-21 Could wave power be an answer to SA’s electricity crisis
2018-05-21 Meet the new #KovsieCyberSta team
2018-05-18 UFS Africa Week to celebrate African unity
2018-05-17 Write for the UFS Student Newsletter
2018-05-17 Posts on social media about alleged sexual harassment of former UFS employee
2018-05-17 Responses to the report on the handling of student protests during October 2017
2018-05-16 Open Day an exciting event for prospective Kovsies
2018-05-11 Lecture explores African cultural practices that violate human rights
2018-05-09 Kovsies make up entire Crinums squad
2018-05-08 Graduation season hits Qwaqwa Campus
2018-05-08 Yet another victory for Kesa
2018-05-08 What’s the difference between a historian and a historical novelist?
2018-05-07 Study shows students shop more and save less
2018-05-04 Female athletes dominate USSA
2018-05-04 Kovsies aim top 6 in Varsity hockey
2018-05-03 Your grades are your currency to success
2018-05-02 South Campus’ UAP celebrates 27 years of access to education
2018-04-26 Macah Foundation’s state-of-the-art hospital ‘a dream come true’
2018-04-26 Pretzel-formed fossil of great evolutionary interest
2018-04-26 Strong athletics team for USSA
2018-04-25 UFS and Medtronic collaboration set to enhance cardiac
2018-04-25 UFS Debate Society to compete in upcoming World Championships
2018-04-25 #KovsieCyberSta voting is now on
2018-04-23 IKS researcher selected for SA, Jamaica collaboration
2018-04-23 Decision of FSPHRA regarding possible covering of the MT Steyn statue
2018-04-20 Prof Puleng LenkaBula appointed Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement at UFS
2018-04-19 Join us for the 2018 Open Days
2018-04-18 Vishuis crowned Varsity Cup Residence Rugby champs three consecutive years
2018-04-18 Bright future for Two Oceans winner and former Kovsie Gerda Steyn
2018-04-17 Be an ambassador for hope” - Miss Deaf SA, Chantelle Pretorius
2018-04-17 Researcher probes into military presence in politics
2018-04-17 Mixed bag for Kovsies at Commonwealth Games
2018-04-17 Graduates encouraged not to be afraid to make mistakes
2018-04-16 Future generation of scientists peeks behind the science curtain
2018-04-13 Kovsie FM breakfast show nominated for Liberty Radio Awards
2018-04-13 Submissions received regarding the covering of the MT Steyn statue
2018-04-11 First accredited ICS training in SA presented at UFS
2018-04-11 Nicro approach UFS Drama for crime-prevention play
2018-04-11 UFS medical students improve life for kids at Lethabo Daycare Centre
2018-04-09 CGAS awards second AS scholarship
2018-04-09 Call for submissions for covering of the MT Steyn statue: Deadline extended to 11 April 2018
2018-04-06 Researchers to represent UFS at BRICS Summit
2018-04-05 Global genealogy explored at UFS guest lecture
2018-04-04 Large Kovsie contingent at Commonwealth Games
2018-04-04 2018/2019 #KovsieCyberSta Search
2018-04-03 First-rate fund managers in SA produced by UFS
2018-04-03 UFS flies flag at half-mast in honour of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
2018-04-03 Stanley Trapido seminar interrogates being Chinese in SA
2018-03-29 UWC environmental researchers unpack land restitution
2018-03-29 Be a law-abiding road-rule citizen these holidays
2018-03-28 Building programmes receive accreditation
2018-03-27 Research focus on HIV and TB stigma among healthcare workers
2018-03-27 Afromontane Research Unit welcomes new Director
2018-03-27 Medals galore at second Varsity meeting
2018-03-27 Congratulations to all our Graduates
2018-03-27 Karee and Tswelopele win Stagedoor finals 2018
2018-03-26 Back to the drawing board to save water
2018-03-23 Student Interactive Session ignites creative passion
2018-03-20 Soon-to-be graduates warm up for Autumn graduations
2018-03-20 Water footprint important but misunderstood indicator
2018-03-20 Town and Gown programme to expand university’s reach in communities
2018-03-19 National Three-Minute Thesis was full of surprises
2018-03-19 Call for applications for the 2018 Global Leadership Summit
2018-03-19 UFS collaborates with Wits, UWC to present higher education PhD Conference
2018-03-19 Prof Solomon writes book on human security in Africa
2018-03-19 2018 DHET Grant applications close 23 March 2018
2018-03-16 Final-year Fine Art students exhibit their work
2018-03-15 Qwaqwa Campus welcomes international students
2018-03-14 KovsieAdvice is here to help you
2018-03-13 Qwaqwa Campus first-years told to embrace their humanity
2018-03-13 Interdisciplinary master’s programme in human rights launched at UFS
2018-03-13 Solomon Mahlangu inspires UFS alumnus’ first Sesotho book
2018-03-13 Prof Heidi Hudson appointed as UFS Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities
2018-03-12 Odeion School of Music opening concert presented on 17 March 2018
2018-03-12 Second triumph for young pollution and pharmaceutical researcher
2018-03-09 Athletes show huge promise at Varsity Athletics meeting
2018-03-09 Experts engage in stimulating discussion on South Africa’s future
2018-03-09 Research group rethinks white societies in Southern Africa
2018-03-08 Pilot Wingman programme launched
2018-03-08 UFS acquires 100% shares in clinical research organisation FARMOVS-PAREXEL
2018-03-07 Kovsie athletes ready for Varsity athletics
2018-03-07 Is there a pollution solution?
2018-03-07 UJ to benchmark Kovsie CUADS operational services
2018-03-02 Student Wellness and Kovsie ACT provide food bank for students
2018-03-01 Theological faculty highlights reconciliation as Biblical imperative
2018-03-01 Plant science researcher contributes to food security, one garden at a time
2018-02-28 Use less water and save more
2018-02-28 Incident at Shimla Park during the Varsity Cup rugby match on Monday 26 February 2018
2018-02-27 A wonderful surprise in India for Kovsie law student
2018-02-26 Dutch scholar honours Faculty of Theology and Religion with special book dedication
2018-02-22 Future of South Africa discussed at UFS peace conference
2018-02-22 UFS professor recognised as one of Africa’s exceptional young scientists
2018-02-22 Histories of whites beyond whiteness the focus of inaugural lecture
2018-02-22 Tennis team country’s fourth-best
2018-02-22 Pakiso aims to conquer the world
2018-02-22 KovsieACT music festival lives up to the hype
2018-02-21 Water-wise expert says: Is there a solution to pollution?
2018-02-20 Excited first-years troop to the swimming gala
2018-02-19 Jeanri-Tine, respected for her word on wine
2018-02-19 No Student Hungry supports students on their journey to success
2018-02-19 Faculty of Health Sciences welcomes new Vice-Dean
2018-02-19 Prof Sampie Terreblanche inspired many undergraduate students to become economists
2018-02-16 Returning and current students - Important information regarding 2018 UFS tuition fees
2018-02-16 Hello first-years of 2018
2018-02-16 Miss Mamelodi Sundowns First Princess a proud Kovsie
2018-02-15 Talent unleashed at first-year’s athletics evening
2018-02-15 Descriptions of everyday life experiences result in articles in internationally rated journal
2018-02-14 Countdown to music, art and fun as Kovsie ACT festival approaches
2018-02-14 First Sesotho soundtrack for fulldome film launched at Naval Hill Planetarium
2018-02-14 Shimlas make it two out of three
2018-02-14 Kovsie donates text books to needy first-year student
2018-02-12 Limited space left in UFS undergraduate programmes
2018-02-12 UFS researcher’s programme aids pupils with ADHD and dyslexia
2018-02-12 Get your blend of rock and legal with the Kovsie FM Breakfast Show
2018-02-11 New book establishes link between spirituality and music education
2018-02-07 Raynard named captain of the Team of the Tournament at U-19 World Cup
2018-02-07 KovsieFM programme manager joins SuperSport as field reporter
2018-02-07 Louzanne and Marné included in national student cross country team
2018-02-06 First-years embrace UFS welcoming celebrations
2018-02-05 Prof John Mubangizi appointed as UFS Dean of the Faculty of Law
2018-02-02 Public lecture focuses on diversity as foundation for equality
2018-02-02 Not a laughing stock
2018-02-01 Legae first-year residents welcomed on UFS South Campus
2018-01-31 Young squad did it for Shimlas
2018-01-31 Perfect start to Varsity Cup for Shimlas
2018-01-31 Kovsie Star of Stars winner believes that Geology rocks
2018-01-30 Former Bok gives back to his alma mater
2018-01-29 2018 Online registration for senior students
2018-01-28 First-year information for 2018
2018-01-27 Physics excels in Afrikaans Academy for Science and Art symposium
2018-01-27 Striving for a more accessible UFS
2018-01-26 Solar charging stations ready for use
2018-01-26 RAG is now ACT – the new kid on the block
2018-01-19 Priscilla shoots for Graca Machel internship and scores big
2018-01-18 Kovsie cricketer, Raynard van Tonder, impresses at U19 World Cup
2018-01-11 Important information regarding 2018 UFS tuition fees for first-time entrants
2018-01-11 UFS researcher publishes the highest-cited Maths paper in the world in 2017
2018-01-08 Documents for 2018 admission (Prospectus and Faculty Booklets)
2018-01-08 Because crystals are beautiful
2018-01-08 Meet our Council: Anchen Laubscher – a passion to make a difference
2018-01-08 Conflict resolution is what drives Prof Hussein Solomon
2018-01-07 Researcher tackling drug-resistant TB through molecular methods
2018-01-05 Making a difference is Angela’s superpower
2018-01-05 UFS congratulates Free State on matric results
2018-01-03 Leadership gave Khanyisa a different perspective
2018-01-02 Innovative maths and science space on the horizon for Faculty of Education
2018-01-02 Meet our Council: Zanoxolo Futwa helping others through spatial change
2018-01-01 UFS First years Library
2018-01-01 ISG’s Sarah Frank researches impact of historic conflicts on society
2018-01-01 Collaboration addresses drought-related matters
2018-01-01 Boyden Observatory contributes to ancient discovery
2018-01-01 Marian Tredoux: world-renowned geochemist
2017-09-29 Mineral named after UFS professor

News Archive

Afromontane pioneering sustainable mountain research
2018-08-13

Description: 1.2018 ARU read more Tags: Free State highlands, Lesotho, Maloti, Drakensberg, Qwaqwa, Afromontane Research Unit, ARU, SAEON, SARChI, Dr Vincent Clark, SAEON, Phuthaditjhaba, Qwaqwa, Golden Gate National Park, Royal Natal National Park 

Tucked in the foothills of the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains is the
Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS),
the home of the Afromontane Research Unit (ARU).
Photo: Charl Devenish



Mountains and highlands have always played an important role in the history of mankind. They produce economically essential goods and services (such as fresh water), host unique biodiversity, and offer unique recreational and tourism opportunities. Mountains are also a place for spiritual sanctuaries and are often used for journeys of self-reflection through pilgrimage.

In addition to these ‘feel good’ benefits, mountains are hazardous areas for communities and infrastructure and are vulnerable to natural disasters. Mountainous areas are also often natural borders defining geopolitical entities, but in the process splitting and marginalising communities, creating economic shadow zones and sometimes becoming highly militarised areas. 

“Southern African mountains provide enormous opportunities for holistic research as social-ecological systems, with some of the most interesting and least academically explored environments on Earth,” said Dr Vincent Clark, Director: Afromontane Research Unit (ARU) on the UFS Qwaqwa Campus

The Afromontane Research Unit
The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) is the home of the ARU, a multidisciplinary flagship group addressing the largely under-researched mountainous landscapes of southern Africa. 

Research in the ARU is promoted around three broad themes to foster inter- and multidisciplinary discourse: (1) conservation and sustainable use of Afromontane biodiversity; (2) sustainable futures for the people of the Afromontane; and (3) living and doing business in the Afromontane –  with the intention of creating a sustainability science hub to bring the three themes into the ambit of solution-oriented transdisciplinary research, centred in the sustainable development goals and sustainability research in general. 

Continental leader
To achieve its vision of becoming a continental leader in African mountain research, the ARU is positioning itself as a mountain-knowledge generator and interchange by developing key relationships locally and internationally. The most valuable local partnership is with the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), with which the ARU will be sharing a Research Chair. 

The Chair will contain strong expertise in the Social Sciences to complement the existing strong Natural Science element in both the ARU and SAEON. The Sustainability Science component is being built through inter alia a mutually-reinforcing relationship with the University of Tokyo and United Nations University, Tokyo. 

The future
“In tandem with robust collaborations to achieve its goals, the ARU provides an envious capacity-building programme for its early career campus academics, postdoctoral and postgraduate students,” said Dr Clark. 

The scale of influence of the ARU is prioritised as ‘back yard first’, namely solution-oriented research that benefits Phuthaditjhaba, Qwaqwa, Golden Gate Highlands National Park and Royal Natal National Park. Thereafter, the ARU seeks to facilitate research that encourages the sustainable development of the Maloti-Drakensberg as a unique social-ecological system in Africa, and from there facilitate research in the intellectual vacuum that is the southern African mountains. With time, the ARU aims to take the intellectual lead as an Africa-based leader in African mountain research. The success of this will depend on how carefully the development of human infrastructure can be balanced with that of the myriad opportunities presented.”

With a diverse and motivated team, situated in one of the most attractive environments in Africa, the ARU is here to change the way we think about African mountains and what they mean for us all.