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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

Newton Fellow at UFS focuses on land and labour
2017-10-28

Description: ' 000 Rory Pilossof Tags: Rory Pilossof 

Dr Rory Pilossof
Photo: Charl Devenish

Dr Rory Pilossof is a senior lecturer in economics at the University of the Free State (UFS), a Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Studies Group at UFS, and a Research Fellow at the University of Kent in the UK.

He became interested in his research field when he studied land reform and land issues in Zimbabwe for his PhD at the University of Sheffield. From there, his research interests have expanded to look at other issues connected to land, such as whiteness and labour.

Dr Pilossof's study field links up with the important issue of land reform in Southern Africa due to its past colonialism and post-colonial politics of land and land ownership. These intersect with a wide range of labour issues that are pressing in the region. He has a keen interest in elite transitions and changes in economic structure in Southern Africa since the 1960s.

Dr Pilossof was nominated to the South African Young Academy of Science in 2017, and received an NRF Y1 rating during 2017. He is also a member of the Amsterdam-based International Institute for Social History’s ‘Global Collaboratory on the History of Labour Relations’. He is a participant in the Leverhulme Trust-funded initiative ‘Comparative History of Political Engagement in Western and African Societies Programme’ at the University of Sheffield.

Dr Pilossof's primary research focuses on issues of land, labour and changing social and economic structures in Zimbabwe and South Africa. He is also interested in finding alternative ways of looking at change. To this end, he has studied various newspapers and periodicals in the region.

Currently, he spends most of his research time as part of a three-year British Academy-funded Advanced Newton Fellowship into labour relations and occupational structures. In future, he wants to expand his research in the labour field by looking at labour and migration in the region over the course of the 20th century.

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