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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

Lecture honours one of SA’s greatest women leaders
2008-08-22

A member of the national executive committee of the ANC Women’s League, Yolanda Botha, has called on all South Africans to cherish the legacy of Charlotte Maxeke, one of South Africa’s greatest women leaders.

Ms Botha was delivering the first Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein last night, in honour of the pioneering role played by Maxeke in the struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom. The lecture series is a partnership between the Free State Provincial Government and the university.

She was born Charlotte Makgomo Manye on 7 April 1874 at Ramokgopa in the Polokwane district in Limpopo. In 1905 she graduated from the Wilberforce University in Ohio in the USA with a B.Sc. degree, making her the first black South African woman to graduate with a science degree.

She married the Rev. MM Maxeke, a prominent AME minister who had also been educated overseas, and together they collaborated on the compilation and publication of the first AME church hymn book in Xhosa.

Later she became a founder member and president of the Bantu Women’s League, forerunner of the ANC Women’s League. She was an early opponent of the pass laws for black women and an organiser of the anti-pass movement in Bloemfontein.

Charlotte Maxeke died in 1939. Two years later, an ANC conference held in Bloemfontein, passed a “resolution on the women’s section”.

Elaborating on the challenges that women still face, Ms Botha said poverty remains a challenge affecting the majority of women. She called on all women to unite and engage with government to develop a comprehensive strategy for food security and agricultural support programmes to eradicate poverty.

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za

22 August 2008

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