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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

Distinguished academic bids farewell to UFS
2008-09-05

 
Prof Nel and his wife, Olivia

The Director of the Centre for Africa Studies (CAS) at the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Phillip Nel, is leaving the University after 33 years of service.

Prof Nel has decided to scale down his involvement with the UFS and CAS to spend more time with his wife, Olivia, and his family and doing more research.

“There comes a time that one must go and this is it for me, but from time to time I wonder whether I have done all that I was meant to do”, said Prof Nel. “I strongly believe that no one is irreplaceable and I know that the Centre for Africa Studies is in good hands.”

His successor, Prof Anwar Osman, an internationally renowned academic himself, assumed the directorship of CAS on 1 September 2008.

“My intention is to build on the groundwork done thus far and to broaden the teaching and research base of the Centre to include the natural sciences as well, truly making CAS a beacon for multidisciplinary study”, said Prof Osman.

“The future success of this centre will be a lasting testament to Prof Nel’s visionary leadership.”

Although he will be leaving the ranks of the full-time employed at the UFS, Prof Nel will still be involved with CAS’s research programme and still has a number of active research projects, such as the SANPAD Project, entitled Communities in Communion, which involves the dynamics of sacred sites and individual and community cultural and spiritual identity construction.

He launched CAS in 2007 to promote a stronger focus on African issues in all activities at the UFS and to fulfil an academic role by linking the realities of Africa to education, research and community service programmes.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za
4 September 2008
 

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