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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

Mpofu-Walsh inspires with music, word, and wisdom
2017-08-22

Description: TEDxUFS   Tags: TEDxUFS

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh shared with the audience the
creative process of writing a song at the 2017
TEDxUFS conference.
Photo: Voxomnia

“Sometimes it’s the parts of us that give us the most agony, the parts of us that we think we need to change to conform to other people’s expectations, which are actually the gateways which allow us to make an impact in the world.”

This encouragement from Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh was one of the highlights of the 2017 TEDxUFS conference. According to the author, musician, and activist, we should embrace every part of ourselves. We should understand that the way in which each of us can change the world, is by becoming one with all the different parts of us which people think can’t come together.

Audience hears project for first time

For the first time ever, Sizwe shared material from his project Democracy and delusionwith an audience at the 4th annual TEDxUFS conference in the Odeion Theatre at the University of the Free State on 5 August 2017. Other speakers included the likes of Murendeni Mafumo, founder of Gentle Giant, and Elijah Djan, CEO and inventor of Nubrix.

The event also included TEDx videos, breath-taking performances, and cutting-edge technological exhibitions. The theme was Prism of Possibilities.

Launching a book and album together

Sizwe shared how he, while studying at the University of Oxford, embarked on an ambitious project where he combined his passion for academics and music: To release a book and album about the same things at the same time.

The project is a reflection of the political landscape in South Africa. Sizwe showed how he created a song about student protests by putting different layers of music together.

“The only way to do something that will leave you truly remembered is to do something different. It is to take all of yourself and pour it into the creative pursuit that you produce.”

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