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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

R12-million to train black chartered accountants
2008-10-09

The Centre for Accounting at the University of the Free State (UFS) will receive about R12-million over the next four years from the Thuthuka Bursary Fund to train black learners as chartered accountants.

The bursary fund is managed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and is aimed at increasing the number of black students who obtain the Bachelor degree in Accounting.

Prof. Hentie van Wyk, Programme Director of the Centre for Accounting at the UFS, says that the membership of the chartered accounting profession (SAICA) does not currently reflect the demographics of the country. The aim of the bursary fund is to straighten this imbalance.

“The first intake of 50 first-year students is in 2009. The bursary fund makes provision for about R60 000 per student. This amount covers the student’s class fees, residence fees, meals and the financing of tutors. We will also make use of tutors and guest lecturers who will teach the students life skills, among others. The centre will appoint a co-ordinator to assist students with this,” says Prof. Van Wyk.

The UFS is accredited by SAICA to handle the Thuthuka training. During a monitoring visit from SAICA in 2007 the centre was the first in South Africa to obtain a 1-grading. The centre also obtained an outstanding pass rate of 94% during the recent national qualifying exam.

“We especially want to focus on the training of students from the central region. This means that the UFS will become a feeder institution of black chartered accountants for the business community in the central region of the country,” says Prof. Van Wyk.

According to Prof. Van Wyk, SAICA will do the recruitment of the students and they will be subject to a selection test. A list of possible students will be submitted to the centre, of which 50 will be chosen. One of the prerequisites is that learners must have a good mark in Mathematics. During their four years of studying students must have an average pass mark of 70%.


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  
9 October 2008

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