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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

Community Service Summit
2008-10-20

Community service must heal our campus

Photo gallery

Community service and community service learning at the University of the Free State must be put in the forefront of healing our divided campus and our divided country.
This was the message from the Acting Rector Prof Teuns Verschoor when he opened the Community Service Summit that was held in Thaba Nchu on 9 and 10 October 2008.
“The importance of community service is that it heals those who help others because the needs of others are more important than our own needs when we render service to those who are worse off than ourselves,” prof Teuns said.

He said community service has already helped to change the UFS in terms of the academic experience of students and staff and in terms of the perceptions that various communities hold about the UFS.

The summit was attended by more than 35 representatives from different Faculties and departments of the university, representatives from the communities in the Motheo and Xhariep District Municipalities as well as the project managers of Lebone Land and the Bloemfontein Life Change Centre.

Several issues pertaining to the Community Service Policy of the UFS, as well as other related issues were discussed which will culminate in a Statement of Intent that will be handed to the Executive Management of the UFS. This is being done in response to the challenge of the acting rector that the Summit will make a meaningful input in the repositioning process of the UFS.

One delegate described her participation in the Summit as a life changing experience. “This articulation of her experience has captured the views of a lot of the delegates. It shows that there is a big need to cement the importance, commitment to and implementation of Community Service and Community Service Learning at the University of the Free State. With the support of our partners we are determined to make a difference in the lives of the people of the Free State and beyond,” said Rev Kiepie Jaftha, Chief Director Community Service at the university.



 

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