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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 gives recognition to excellent researchers
2004-11-16

p>The University of the Free State will give recognition to excellent researchers at UFS on Tuesday 16 November 2004. “This recognition function will also serve as the first annual lecture in research excellence,” says Prof Frans Swanepoel, Director of Research Development Division at the UFS.

 

This is the first occasion of its kind in the UFS. It coincides with the university’s centenary celebrations. The recognition of excellent research shows the UFS’s commitment and innovative focus on research as one of its core functions,” says Prof. Swanepoel.

Recognition will be given in different categories. They are female researchers, black researchers, young researchers, C- and L-Rated researchers, researchers with significant research outputs, B-Rated researchers and distinguished professors in research.

The promotion of equity and development of research capacity of designated groups is one of the objectives of the UFS’s research strategy therefore the university is recognising the research achievements of 21 women and 16 black persons. Amongst these are Prof. Margaret Raftery (English and Classical Languages), Dr Liesl van As (Zoology and Entomology), Prof. Peter Mbati (head of the Qwaqwa campus) and Prof. Charles Ngwena (Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law).

The UFS is also recognising nine young researchers. They must hold a doctorate and have the potential to establish themselves as researchers within a five-year period based on their performance and productivity as researchers during their doctoral studies and/or early post-doctoral careers. Amongst them are Dr Esta van Heerden (Microbial Biochemical and Food Biotechnology) and Prof. André Jooste (Agricultural Economics).

Fifty-eight established researchers with a sustained recent record of productivity are receiving recognition in the C- and L-rated researchers’ category. Amongst them were Prof. Hennie van Coller (Afrikaans, Dutch, German and French) and Prof. Gert Erasmus (Animal- and Wildlife- and Grassland Sciences).

Prof. Francois Tolmie (New Testament) and Prof. Gina Joubert (Biostatistics) are two of the twelve researchers that are receiving recognition for having excelled in research outputs during recent years.

Nine researchers are acknowledged in the B-category for the international recognition they receive from their peers for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs. Amongst them were Prof. Johan Grobbelaar (Plant Sciences) and Prof. Hendrik Swart (Physics). Prof. Grobbelaar focused in his research on limnology, algal biotechnology, plant stress and Prof. Swart focused on solid state physics and degradation mechanisms that are responsible for the degradation of field emission and TV displays.

Seven individuals are recognised for their exceptional achievements as researchers. Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector, but previously in the Department of Economics, is recognised for his research in two policy areas: Political Economics, Government Finance and Fiscal Policy, and Industrial Economics, in particular analysis of the South African industrial structure and competition policy, where his research contributions played a key role in reforming South Africa’s competition policy.

Prof. Lodewyk Kock (Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology) focuses in his research mainly on pure and oxidised edible oil where yeasts are used as a study model. He obtained national as well as international recognition for this research program.

The UFS is also awarding the S2A3 Bronze Medal to recognise a Master’s degree student who has delivered outstanding research in one of the sciences. Mr Pieter Taljaard and Ms Tania Venter are recognised in this category.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
16 November 2004

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