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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

New schools, restructuring part of streamlined Faculty of Health Sciences
2017-10-12

 Description: Health Sciences staff 2 Tags: Faculty of Health Sciences, five-school structure, Prof Gert van Zyl, Pathology, Biomedical Sciences  

From the left, front are: Dr Jocelyn Naicker,
Prof Gert van Zyl, Prof Magda Mulder;
back from left: Prof Chris Viljoen,
Marlene Viljoen, Deputy Director: Faculty of Health Sciences;
Prof Nathaniel Mofolo; and Prof Santie van Vuuren.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin


Numerous developments, such as the creation of two new schools and one newly restructured School of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), will catapult this renowned faculty to even greater heights.

Five-school structure to increase access
 
A five-school structure was proposed at the annual Faculty Management retreat in July 2016. The previous three-school model included the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Professions.

The current School of Medicine has been restructured and will henceforth be known as the School of Clinical Medicine. The Schools of Pathology and Biomedical Sciences have been added to the faculty. “So, three new schools were in fact created within the faculty,” said Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the faculty.   

“There was also a request from the National Health Laboratory Services to group academics that is rendering services in pathology into a new School of Pathology.” This is what motivated the faculty management to create two new schools.

Esteemed academics appointed 

With the creation of the new schools, there were also new appointments within the Faculty of Health Sciences. Dr Jocelyn Naicker has been appointed as the new part-time Head of the School of Pathology, Prof Chris Viljoen was appointed as the part-time Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences, and Prof Nathaniel Mofolo as the new Head of the School of Clinical Medicine. Prof Santie van Vuuren remains Head of the School of Allied Health Professions, and Prof Magda Mulder as the head of the School of Nursing. 

Research outputs to remain as usual
The addition of the new schools will not impact research output. “In the past, research was done across departmental boundaries between all the departments in the faculty,” Prof Van Zyl said. The advantages of adding two additional schools are that the workload will be distributed among the five schools. The heads of schools will work within their respective disciplines and related areas, and will eliminate the duplication of administrative functions.

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