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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 Dux student seeks to help farmers through her research
2017-10-24

Description: Dux student Tags: Kovsie Dux student, Chéri-Lynn Steyn, Research Assistant, Wag-'n-Bietjie, Animal Science & Agricultural Economics 

Chéri-Lynn Steyn, the Kovsie Dux student for 2016/2017,
likes going on game drives in the Kruger National Park
and taking photographs of birds with her brothers.
Photo: Jóhann Thormählen


From failing her first test at university to becoming the Kovsie Dux; from being a first-year in a tutor class to becoming a tutor   these are snippets from Chéri-Lynn Steyn’s journey at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Although she was not accepted into Medical School to pursue her childhood dream of studying Medicine, she has never looked back and now wants to guide farmers on how to be more efficient and sustainable.

Steyn, who studies BScAgric Animal Science and Agricultural Economics, was crowned the Kovsie Dux Student for 2016/2017. The award recognises and rewards the top-performing and all-round brilliant student. The criteria are a high academic average, coupled with excellent participation and excellence in extra-curricular activities like Community Service, Culture, Leadership and Sports.

Overcoming obstacles a highlight
The Research Assistant at Agricultural Economics says she cannot believe she is the winner. After three years at university, her CV includes 29 modules and 29 distinctions, but she is a well-balanced individual. She has been on the Agricultural Committee, First-Years Committee at Wag-'n-Bietjie residence, a class representative, is an interprovincial hockey umpire, and has cycled the Cape Town Cycle Tour and Telkom 94.7 Cycle Challenge.

Steyn recently looked back at her UFS journey: “From a layman who knew nothing about the agricultural industry, to someone who is able to understand and join in conversations about the industry,” she says. “My personal highlights are those small significant moments of overcoming obstacles.”

Effort less when you love what you do
She says her success is through grace and the Lord’s strength. “I endeavour to never compare myself to others, but set the standard against myself. This enables me to push myself harder and further than I did previously.”

Steyn also feels that when you love what you do, putting in a lot of effort is no effort at all. “My big dream is to be able to help farmers on a large scale through the research I do.”

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