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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

Land a fertile field for historians
2017-12-25


 Description: Dr Admire Mseba Tags: Dr Admire Mseba 

Dr Admire Mseba, historian and researcher in the International Studies Group (ISG).
Photo: Charl Devenish

The use of land and the economics of Southern Africa at present is a contentious subject at almost every level of society. A historian and researcher who revels in happenings in these two areas, is Dr Admire Mseba, a postdoctoral research fellow in the International Studies Group (ISG) at the UFS.

Dr Mseba grew up in the Mberengwa region in southern Zimbabwe, known for cattle farming and mineral mining. While at the University of Zimbabwe, he became interested in economic history and archaeology, and completed his PhD at the University of Iowa in the USA. During his time there, Dr Mseba also became passionate about environmental history.

A historian's ability to think and engage critically on diverse subjects drew Dr Mseba to his field. Currently, he is busy with three research projects. Firstly, he is working on a book on social relations, about access to land in Zimbabwe. He is also examining regional and national efforts to control migratory pests during the 20th century, in particular, the red locust. In collaboration with a colleague at the ISG, Dr Mseba is also researching monetary systems in central Africa, covering the present-day countries of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia.

Dr Mseba believes future research opportunities in the domains of economic and environmental history abound. For one, the land question has been very topical in Zimbabwe for more than a decade—as it is now in South Africa—and needs more scrutiny. Regarding agrarian pestilences, he indicates the recent phenomenon of armyworm invasion. “There are so many opportunities for historians to investigate. There are so many ways to think about these things and trying to put it in perspective.”

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