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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

Young language Einstein set for Europe
2017-07-10

Description: Young language Einstein set for Europe Tags: Recipient of UFS Senate medal receives Erasmus Mundus master’s bursary.  

Willem Carel Brink will be studying in France and Italy
for the next 
two years as part of his master’s
degree programme
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

German, French, English and even Latin are just a few of the languages known by Kovsies’ own language guru, Willem Carel Brink.

This arty junior lecturer and 2015 Senate and Dean’s medal recipient at the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State (UFS) received the Erasmus-Mundus bursary to conduct his master’s degree under the Erasmus Mundus Master en Cultures Littératures Européennes (CLE) title. He departs for Europe in September. “It is a structured interdisciplinary study which focuses on European literature, culture and other aspects,” Willem says. The subject for his thesis will be determined during the duration of the course.

Two-year course under Erasmus Mundus 
The Erasmus CLE master’s is a two-year course which is presented by five partner universities in France, Senegal, Italy and Greece. Students are expected to indicate at which universities they want to study but cannot spend both years at the same university. “France was my first choice, because I know the language – which was a prerequisite for selection,” said Willem. He is fluent in Afrikaans, English, German and French! 

“I will spend my second year in Bologna, Italy,” he said. It is therefore also expected that he does an Italian course during the first year to prepare him for the second year in Italy.

Future collaboration with UFS a prospect
Future collaborations between him and the language departments at the UFS are possible prospects for the future when he returns. “What makes this degree especially attractive to me is that it has value in terms of the local environment in the teaching of European languages and literature.” 

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