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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

Prof Andre Keet to chair Ministerial Oversight Committee on Transformation
2017-07-14

Description: Prof Andre Keet  Tags: Transformation, Higher Education, Oversight Committee, appointment 

Prof Andre Keet 
Photo: Stephen Collet

Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has increased from seven to 10 the number of members of the Ministerial Oversight Committee on the Transformation in the South African Public Universities.

In a government gazette published on 7 July 2017‚ Dr Nzimande appointed new members of the committee for a three-year term to be chaired by Prof Andre Keet, Director of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State (UFS). Prof Keet is a returning member of the committee alongside former University of Fort Hare chancellor Dr Mvuyo Tom.

The purpose of the Ministerial Oversight Committee on Transformation in South African Public Universities is to monitor progress on transformation in public universities‚ serve as an expert advisory body and provide independent and external advice to the minister and the department.

The committee has been given 11 tasks‚ chief of which is to study and evaluate transformation plans and charters of all universities. It is mandated to use this exercise as a basis for the development of a sectoral transformation charter. It is also tasked with reviewing the annual reports of institutions on transformation and producing an annual report on the state of transformation in the higher education sector.

Prof Keet’s appointment comes at a pivotal time when transformation at universities has been at the heart of many debates in universities, government and broader society. Prof Keet said: “It is an honour and privilege to serve the sector at this level and in this capacity.”

The university is proud to have in its ranks a leader of such calibre who has also spearheaded transformation initiatives at the UFS through the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice over the past six years.

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