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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

Statement regarding pulping of books by the UFS Sasol Library
2017-12-07


With reference to reports in the media and social media since 5 December 2017 about the pulping of books by the UFS Sasol Library, the executive management of the University of the Free State (UFS) would like to put the matter into perspective.
 
The book collection of the library is governed by a Library Committee of Senate, and no books can be removed from the library without formal approval from the committee. The university values the wealth of knowledge preserved in the library, and will not act irresponsibly with its collection.
 
Although the executive management takes note of the comments of some concerned organisations and members of the public in the media and social media the past couple of days, no books were removed from the library and sent to be pulped – only bound journals of which the university has online versions. These are journals that have been removed from the journal section for quite some time, and have not been used for a considerable number of years.
 
The decision to reduce the size of the collection to at least 35%, and to secure remote storage in close proximity of the library in Bloemfontein for some of the collections, was taken after a thorough external review of the library in 2014 as well as a gap review this year.
 
Two aspects were actioned after the review: books which have not been used at all in the past 20 years were moved to a storeroom in the library; journals removed from the journal section which have not been used actively for quite some time and which are not available online or cannot be found elsewhere through any means, will be moved to a remote storage in Bloemfontein and be retrieved as the need arises.
 
The only journals sent for pulping were those readily available online through current subscriptions, journals that the library is not subscribed to but are freely available online, journals that have since become Open Access Journals, magazines that have popular titles and are of no academic value, annual reports of societies and associations, and some abstracts. Thorough and responsible evaluation of these bound journals was done before they were sent for pulping.
 
The move of the books to a store room in the library and the removal of the bound journals will provide space to implement recommendations by the task team assigned by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, to investigate repurposing the library into a world-class, state-of-the-art library where physical and virtual space is created to support multi-purpose learning spaces for students, collaborative and group learning, and providing space for more innovation in the library through technology, thus enhancing the overall student and user experience.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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