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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

UFS responds to revocation of the accreditation of the SA Doping Control Laboratory by WADA
2017-07-01

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) yesterday informed the South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) at the University of the Free State (UFS) that the WADA accreditation status of the laboratory has been revoked.

This revocation does, however, not include the analysis of blood samples for the Athlete Biological Passport for which SADoCoL has been re-accredited in August 2016 and which the laboratory will continue to perform. It also does not impact at all on the testing of urine sport samples by the South African Institute of Drug-free Sport (SAIDS), who will continue to send such samples for testing to other WADA accredited laboratories, while blood samples will be tested at SADoCoL as before.

The revocation follows a year long period of suspension in which the laboratory had to develop its analytical capabilities and instate new systems and methodologies.  “In this period the laboratory worked diligently to realize all of these requirements and according to an inspection team from the WADA Laboratory Expert Group who visited the laboratory in February 2017, much has been done and the Laboratory is in a much better state than it was before the suspension in May 2016,” says prof Marthinus van der Merwe, Director of SADoCoL.

“However, there were certain aspects of these requirements that the laboratory could not achieve within the time-frame stipulated by WADA and therefore the organisation is bound by its rules and regulations to now revoke the accreditation status of the laboratory. Since much effort and resources have been invested in the laboratory in the last two years, the management of SADoCoL together with senior leadership of the UFS decided to go ahead and finalise all development in order to re-apply for WADA accreditation,” says prof van der Merwe. 

“The UFS fully acknowledges the hard work of SADoCoL during the period of development and is committed to support the laboratory in its endeavors to re-attain its status within the very specialised and highly regulated community of world-wide doping control laboratories.  The premium goal of the laboratory is still to fully serve the sporting community of South Africa and Africa according to the WADA guidelines for anti-doping control in Sport and it is confident to attain that with the support of all role players in this field,” says Prof Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research at the UFS.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
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