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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

#Women'sMonth: Kovsie entrepreneur making waves in business world
2017-08-25

  Description: Akhona new Tags: entrepreneurship, business, accounting, awards, academy, women

Akhona Monakalali to take on the business world.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Whoever came up with the idea that ‘a woman’s place is in the kitchen’, has definitely not met Akhona Monakalali. Monakalali, a postgraduate student busy with an Accounting diploma on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), is a force to be reckoned with. She was born in Katlehong Township in Gauteng, and moved to Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape a few years later. 


Making international waves in business

Monakalali is a Professional Accountant and an entrepreneur who continues to make her mark in the entrepreneurial world. She just recently participated in the Progressive African Network’s (PAN) Annual African Entrepreneurship Expo in Boston, USA, which was hosted by PAN and the Hult Women in Business Club. She was invited to the expo to share her insights on entrepreneurship in South Africa. “I and four other Africans participated in the expo via Skype. It was a very successful event and very insightful,” she says.

Awarded for positive contribution in communities
While she was doing her undergraduate degree, she was elected as the President/CEO of the Golden Key UFS Chapter in 2007. After competing with other universities in the national championships, they won and qualified for the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) World Cup in New York City. SIFE is an international non-profit organisation working with university students who want to change their communities positively, and gain practical knowledge to become socially responsible business leaders. 

This international acknowledgement influenced her peers – among millions of other South African teens – to vote for her in the Seventeen Magazine’s Top Teen Achiever Award for her community contribution. Later in that same year, she received a special Service Leadership Award from the Dean of her faculty for her contribution towards creating a better world through business.
She has since established an in-home tutoring foundation called Monakali Academy, which offers parents and struggling students affordable, one-on-one tutoring in the comfort of their homes.
“Tutoring is performed in the student’s home in order to provide a comfortable and non-competitive environment for learning,” says Monakalali.
She will also be involved with various entrepreneurs throughout Africa, working on ways to improve youth entrepreneurship on the African continent.

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