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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

Science 4Fun, collaboration between CUT and UFS community engagement
2017-08-16

 Description: Community Enagement Tags: : Nzame Primary School, Charles Busack, Global University for Lifelong Learning, Community Engagement, Science4Fun  

For Grade R learners at Nzame Primary, their
basic Geometry insight about shapes advanced
to engineering skills when they built modern pyramids,
connecting jelly sweets and sosatie sticks. 
Photo: Supplied 


Any phase in a learner’s life can be the right time to explore science. As for Grade R learners at Nzame Primary School in Mangaung, it all started when their Deputy Principal, Charles Busack, attended the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) workshop coordinated by the university’s Community Engagement in October 2016. The GULL network enables its affiliated organisations to recognise the individual and collective efforts of those who are creating progressive transformation in communities and in the workplace. Consequently, a community-based initiative, Science4Fun, was developed and launched at the primary school, where learners would start to experiment with science through play.

University students instrumental in teaching
Every Tuesday morning, these fun science activities form part of the foundation phase programme, in which Dr Elizabeth Conradie of the Central University of Technology (CUT) and four postgraduate Science students from the UFS, engage teachers and learners in exciting experiments and demonstrations. 

Most people just know pyramids as big, impressive structures built a long time ago in Ancient Egypt. However, for Grade R learners at Nzame Primary, their basic Geometry insight about shapes advanced to engineering skills when they built modern pyramids, connecting jelly sweets and sosatie sticks.

Laying a foundation for the future
According to Dr Conradie, more fun exercises are lined up for curious minds, exploring other sciences such as Chemistry and Mathematics, combined with music. The initiative will assist to equip learners with the basics of Science into more advance learning phases of the schooling years, giving them an advantage.

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