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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

Kovsie Biggest Braai a huge success
2017-08-30

 Description: Braai Tags: Kovsie Biggest Braai, Kovsie, International Student Council 

Prof Francis Petersen, also attending the braai, is here being
interviewed by one of our #KovsieCyberStas, Thuli Molebalwa.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Even though Braai Day is celebrated nationally in September, students at the University of the Free State (UFS) had their own braai day. The Kovsie Biggest Braai was the biggest student community event of the year.

Takudzwa Nyamunda of the International Student Council said the idea for the braai came from the International Student Association as a social cohesion event for international students. “When the idea was presented to my office we realised the potential for such an initiative to be not just for students but for the whole Kovsie community.”  

They realised there were not a lot of social cohesion events on campus where students and staff could just take a day to relax and embrace the feeling of being a Kovsie. He said he believed the braai could provide the right platform. The main objective of this project was to make it an institutional event with aspects of fundraising for the future. 

Colleges made KBB a success 
An estimated 3500 people attended the festivities on Red Square on 12 August. “We used the college format for the braai and it was set in the form of a challenge between the five colleges, but one of the colleges pulled out,” Takudzwa said. The colleges that did participate made a big contribution towards the success of the event and did all the braaing and selling. 

Creating new Kovsie traditions 
The idea behind the pilot project is that it becomes an annual event which in turn will form part of a new Kovsies tradition. “It received endorsement from top management therefore I believe it will form part of the Kovsie calendar for years to come,” Takudzwa said. 

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