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03 July 2018 Photo Johan Roux and Charl Devenish
UFS June graduation ceremonies inspire South Africa
Some of the moments during the 2018 June Graduation Ceremonies on the Bloemfontein Campus.

 Photo Gallery

The University of the Free State conferred about 1 900 diplomas, ACE/ACT certificates, and master’s and doctoral degrees across all seven faculties at this year’s June graduation ceremonies.

South Africa is in awe of UFS graduates who are driven by their passion for academy despite adverse circumstances, with a single goal in mind – achieving academic excellence and advancing their lives to a state of elevation.

From delivering five PhDs in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry, to securing 48 master’s degrees and 1 PhD in Sustainable Agriculture, to conferring a Master of Divinity degree cum laude to 75-year-old Dr Hanneke Meyer, the UFS June 2018 graduation ceremonies have proven that anything is possible once you set your mind to it.

UFS Chancellor, Dr Khotso Mokhele, urged that, “We need to do everything in our power to re-elevate the teaching profession to where it should be.”

Prem Govender, guest speaker at the School of Financial Planning Law’s graduation on Wednesday 27 June 2018, encouraged graduates to exercise integrity in their future professional lives, to recognise those who enabled them to succeed, and to strive to be beacons of hope in the lives of others.  “Second to the medical profession, financial planning is essential, as it ensures the financial wellbeing of society,” she said.
 
Advanced Certificates in Education and Teaching were awarded to our South Campus for Open Distance Learning. Greg van Schalkwyk, Principal of the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology, reviewed technological changes across the past three centuries, highlighting that teachers are preparing students for the 21st century, the Information Age, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He urged teachers to follow their students' example, saying: "Never stop studying. My students keep telling me – 'Sir, if you don't know something, Google it!’”

Speaking at the afternoon graduation session for master’s and PhD graduates in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on 28 June 2018, Max du Preez, South African author, columnist and documentary filmmaker, said, “Intelligentsia search for the truth, because the truth matters.”

On the final day of the graduation ceremonies, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Peterson, addressed the audience by saying, “The values we strive to infuse into our knowledge enterprise are those of critical enquiry and receptiveness to alternative ideas: to question, ask, and debate constructively; but we also impart the value of service.” He concluded by sharing that, “To be of service to your community, to the country, the continent, and even to the world is the role graduates are expected to play.”

Inspiring stories:

Security officer overcoming obstacles to obtain master’s

Hanneke Meyer obtains master’s with distinction at 75

Wednesday 27 June 2018

09:00

Description: 2018 Prem Govender small Tags: Prem Govender, Adv Shirly Hyland, School of Financial Planning Law, Graduation

 “Second to the medical profession, financial planning is essential as it ensures the financial well-being of society.” 
Prem Govender

WATCH: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 27 June 2018 ( morning session)

14:30

 


Description: 2018 Greg VSW small Tags: South Campus School of Open and Distance Learning, ACT programme, Greg van Schalkwyk

"Never stop studying. My students keep telling me; 'Sir, if you don't know something, Google it!'" 
- Greg  van Schalkwyk, Principal of the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology

Watch: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 27 June 2018 ( afternoon session)

Thursday 28 June 2018

09:00

Description: 2018 Max du Preez small Tags: South Campus School of Open and Distance Learning, ACT programme, Greg van Schalkwyk

"Intelligentsia search for the truth, because the truth matters.”
- Max du Preez, South African author, columnist and documentary filmmaker 

WATCH: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 28 June 2018 ( morning Session)

14:30

 Description: 2018 student June grad small Tags: UFS graduation, June graduations

“We need to do everything in our power to re-elevate the teaching profession to where it should be.”
– Dr Khotso Mokhele

WATCH: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 28 June 2018 ( afternoon session)

Friday 29 June 2018

14:30

Description: 2018 Friday afternoon session small Tags: UFS graduations, June Graduations

“To be of service to your community, to the country, the continent, and the globe is the role that graduates will play.”
-Prof Francis Peterson

WATCH: UFS June Graduation Ceremony 29 June 2018 ( afternoon session)



News Archive

UFS Vice-Chancellor’s vision for 2016: R100 million before September
2016-03-03

Description: Official opening 2016 Tags: Official opening 2016

At the official opening of the University of the Free State (UFS), held on 19 February 2016 on the Bloemfontein Campus, Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice Chancellor and Rector, announced that his priority for the year is to raise R100 million. Deserving students who cannot afford to study will receive bursaries through the Student Bursary Fund Campaign.

Staff will also have the opportunity to contribute to the fund.

Prof Jansen thanked staff for their hard work in the midst of what he described as “by far the most difficult year for admissions, registration, accommodation, and student finance”. The heightened expectations of students after FeesMustFall and the limited capacity of the university to meet the desires of students took its toll on staff.

Because of the incredible strain taken by staff members, both emotionally and physically, the Vice-Chancellor gave staff the assurance that they will receive spiritual, emotional, and health support.

“Never before have I seen such dedication from all our staff to hold the university together in these trying times,” Prof Jansen said.

“Because of you, we have a record intake of first-year students into the UFS. We have had about 5 000 students on average in the past three years and, as of today, we are nearing 7000 first-years with the strong possibility that we will enroll several thousand more students, once the new South Campus registrations come on line later this year. By mid-2016, we will exceed our own target of 8 000 students,” said Prof Jansen.

He stipulated that it is not only good for the finances of the university but also for the youth of the country who can access a quality university in central South Africa where the safety of its staff and students is a priority.

Another highlight at this event was announcing Dr Christian Williams from the Department of Anthropology as the winner of the 2016 Distinguished Scholar Book Prize for his book, National liberation in postcolonial southern Africa: a historical ethnography of SWAPO’s exile camps.

Amidst the sad episodes of violence and destruction on campuses around South Africa, Prof Jansen highlighted how the UFS will – through a seven-point approach - manage the university during these difficult times:
1.    Doing everything within our capacity to meet the needs of staff and students
2.    Upholding the right to peaceful protest in our democracy
3.    Acting swiftly against any unlawful actions by students or workers
4.    Upholding the authority of the unions (only UVPERSU and NEHAWU)
5.    Finding humane and just solutions to the problem of outsourcing
6.    Not placing the UFS at financial risk by making irresponsible decisions
7.    Maintaining an open door policy.

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