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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

Macufe Wordfest and UFS bring literary practitioners together
2017-10-18

Description: Macufe Wordfest  Tags: Macufe Wordfest
The Macufe Wordfest attracted language practitioners from
the Free State and Eastern Cape Province. From the left are:
Dr Elias Malete (UFS: African Languages),
Prof Johannes Malefetsane Lenake (honoured guest),
Nthabiseng Naketsana (Eastern Cape: Head of
Provincial Languages Services), Shoaneng Sefali
(Chairperson: Free State Writers Forum), Mariaan Otto
(Language Practitioner at FS government) and
Dr Mathene Abram Mahanke (Free State: Head of Provincial
Languages Services). Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

The University of the Free State (UFS) has a responsibility to advance good stakeholder relationships with public and government entities by creating opportunities for collaborative projects. According to Dr Elias Malete, Senior Lecturer and Academic Head at the Department of African Languages, this is why it is important for the UFS to be involved in projects such as Macufe Wordfest.

His department and the UFS Library, in collaboration with the Provincial Languages Services, hosted Wordfest on the Bloemfontein Campus as part of the Mangaung Cultural Festival. He says the main focus of the word festival, held from 4-6 October 2017 in the Economic and Management Sciences Auditorium, was to bring together literary practitioners from the Free State and Eastern Cape.

Prof Malefetsane Lenake honoured
“In this festival, budding authors have a platform to read their works to fellow practitioners, seasoned authors use their experience and expertise to assist budding and aspiring authors, and published authors have the opportunity to launch their new books,” says Dr Malete. 

Highlights included the recognition of longstanding, retired academic, Prof Johannes Malefetsane Lenake, for his contribution to the development of Sesotho, and the awarding of trophies to learners who wrote excellent essays in Sesotho, Setswana, isiXhosa and isiZulu about the life of OR Tambo.

First African Languages Writers Day
On 30 August 2017 various Sesotho writers’ organisations gathered at the UFS Sasol Library to celebrate the first African Languages Writers Day. It was hosted by Department of African Languages and the UFS library and mapped a way forward on ways to promote African Languages recognised by the Free State language policy.

The goal was to promote and preserve African languages, unearth writers, share ideas, and help to shape the future. Dr Malete says such events are important to ensure that UFS “is a people-centred institution where the educational and developmental needs of local communities are catered for”.

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