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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 Council wishes outgoing rector well
2008-09-05

Statement by Judge Faan Hancke, Chairperson of the UFS Council

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) hereby expresses its heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Prof. Frederick Fourie for his contribution to building and developing the UFS. His association with the UFS stretches over a period of 40 years – first as a student, later as a lecturer, dean, vice-rector and finally as rector and vice-chancellor.

When the University was operating at a loss during 2000 and it was in a financial crisis, he came up with a financial turn-around strategy which took the UFS out of this crisis to a position where it can annually spend considerable amounts on strategic projects. This led to large amounts being invested in the academia and especially research. As a result, the UFS’s research capacity and research equipment has been expanded. Since 2003 research outputs increased with about 50%, which is a great achievement for the UFS’s researchers and its faculties.

Progress was also made with diversity, the UFS’s balanced multilingualism policy in the academia as well as administration, employment equity, the transformation plan and the institutional charter. Under his leadership there was an upgrading and extension of the infrastructure, academic buildings and facilities as well as support services and student facilities.

Prof. Fourie has an excellent intellect and exceptional abilities which can still make a huge contribution to the improvement of the South African society. As a result of personal consideration and after 4 decades’ association with the UFS including 5 years in a leading position, Prof. Fourie decided to step down. The Council respects this decision and wishes him success and best wishes.

The process of appointing a new rector and vice-chancellor will follow the normal recruitment procedure of the UFS. In terms of this procedure a representative committee of Council, which includes all stakeholders of the UFS, will consider applications that are received.

Applications will be invited through an open and targeted process of recruitment advertising, locally, nationally and internationally to broaden the pool of applicants.

Within this process Council has expressed the view that applications from the designated groups in terms of Employment Equity must be encouraged.

It is also Council’s wish that this process be completed as soon as is possible, within the approved procedure.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
12 September 2008
 

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