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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

HIV/AIDS could kill 20% of southern Africa’s farm workers by 2020
2008-09-27

HIV / AIDS is claimed to account for 40% - 50% of infections in the workforce in some labor-intensive industries. This means that every farmer will have to replace up to 50% of his workforce within the next 10 years.

This was said by Mrs Estelle Heideman (pictured) of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science at the University of the Free State (UFS) at the launch of a DVD about a project to equip farm workers with knowledge and skills regarding HIV / AIDS.

Mrs Heideman was quoting the research findings of Agrimark Consultant, Johan Willemse, and added that farm workers, because of low literacy levels, remoteness of the areas in which they live and the distances to health care facilities, are often forgotten when it comes to HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes.

This weekend Mrs Heideman leaves for New York City to take up a scholarship awarded to her by the University of Columbia and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to participate in the M-A-C AIDS Sponsored Leadership Programme.

The leadership Initiative provides a structured support program to enable participants to exchange best practices in the approach to HIV prevention that can be adapted to local circumstances. At the conclusion of the program the Leadership Initiative will, amongst other benefits, provide funds for Fellows to carry out their prevention program in South Africa.

Such a program was already carried out from February to May this year as part of the Lengau Agri Centre’s Farm Project in collaboration with the Chief Directorate Community Service at the UFS on the farms Slangfontein, Dwarsrivier and Pypersfontein in the Philippolis district.

According to Mrs Heideman, who is the co-coordinator of the project, the aim of this project was to equip farm workers with knowledge and skills regarding HIV/AIDS so that they can take control of their lives and make quality decisions.

“A major advantage of working with farm workers is that the whole family is included in the session and this ensures that all generations get the same message”, she said.

At the end the feedback from the farm workers about the programme was positive. “Many said they had tested for HIV and will continue to do so to ensure that they would be around to see their children grow up”, said Mrs Heideman.

Copies of the DVD can be obtained from Estelle Heideman (0828211230) or Tarryn Nell (0832573843).

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  
26 September 2008


 

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