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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

UFS ICT Services mentioned among global PeopleSoft pioneers
2017-10-23

 Description: Andrew read more Tags: ICT services, technology, innovations, PeopleSoft, Oracle, students, IT, awards 

Andrew Jusjong, Chief Officer: ICT, one of the main drivers
of PeopleSoft at the UFS. 
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

At the beginning of his term, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Francis Petersen, mentioned to parents and prospective students the importance of the UFS being recognised globally as innovators. 

This month, Information and Communication Technology Services (ICT Services) were recognised by Oracle as one of the PeopleSoft Innovators at the Oracle OpenWorld (an international conference regarding all Oracle products) for deploying student self-service, using PeopleSoft Campus Solutions’ new Fluid user interface.  

Andrew Jusjong, Chief Officer: ICT, says, “This solution allows dynamic administrative setup regarding available degrees, customised messages, dynamic required degree-specific documentation, and integration with the Applications and Admissions module.”  He says it also includes self-service functionality that allows students to track the status of their applications, and provide additional documentation required for their study choices.

“The UFS is the only innovator in the European, Middle-Eastern and African region. Considering that the development team at the UFS is much smaller than their international counterparts, this illustrates that we do not have to stand back for our international peers regarding service delivery and the quality of service to our customers,” he says.

The PeopleSoft Innovator awards are presented to companies that are taking advantage of the latest capabilities and technologies provided by Oracle PeopleSoft in order to transform their businesses and their IT practices, while also providing benefits to the business and end users. The UFS has been making use of PeopleSoft applications since 2004. It currently makes use of three applications:

- PeopleSoft Financials for procurement, budgeting, billing, asset management, general ledger, journals, provisioning, payroll, commitment control, ad hoc claims, travel and expenses, and maintenance management.
- PeopleSoft Human Capital Management for HR data processes, recruitment, workforce management, remuneration management, leave management, employee self-service, and other HR activities; and 
- PeopleSoft Campus Solutions for student lifecycle management, applications and admissions, curriculum management, programme enrolment, student records, student financials (accounts), financial aid, graduation, alumni management, graduate research management, residences, and student self-service.

In the Higher Education sector, PeopleSoft is being used by over 900 campuses in 34 countries, across six continents. “This means that recognition was given to the university on a global platform,” says Jusjong.

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