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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

Year-long programme to celebrate the story of life and survival
2009-02-13

 
At the launch of the UFS's year-long programme to celebrate the story of life and survival were, from the left: Prof. Schalk Louw, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Prof. Jo van As, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Prof. Maitland Seaman, Centre for Environmental Management, and Prof. Matie Hoffman, Department of Physics. All four are associated with the UFS.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse

A year-long programme to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his scientifically important book “The Origin of Species” was launched yesterday (the birth date of Darwin) by the University of the Free State (UFS) on its Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

The UFS is the only university in the country that is presenting such an extensive programme on life and survival. Yesterday’s launch programme entailed a portrayal of the life of Darwin and a presentation on what nature tells us about cosmic history. It was the start of a year-long lecture programme in which various departments at the UFS will take part.

“The lecture programme, called “The story of life and survival”, forms a cycle of the progress of man and does not only focus on Darwin. The programme aims to portray the influence of Darwin’s theory of evolution on a wide range of disciplines. We see this as a good opportunity to promote science in its broadest context,” says Prof. Jo Van As, head of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the UFS.

The lecture programme will include topics such as the geological evolution of our planet, extinction, Darwinian agriculture, the road to civilisation, the proliferation of technology and communication, human demography and the human impact on the environment. It will be concluded in February 2010 with a lecture on the future of evolution.

The programme is spearheaded by the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the UFS, in conjunction with the National Museum and the Central University of Technology.

“Today evolution is no longer considered to be a theory and is widely accepted by most serious scientists as the process responsible for the diversity of life on our planet,” says Prof. Van As.

Complete programme:

26 February 2009: The geological evolution of our planet
13 March 2009: Origin of life, prokaryotes and eukaryotes
24 March 2009: Extinction
16 April 2009: Evolution and biodiversity of plants
30 April 2009: Evolution and biodiversity of animals
14 May 2009: The mechanisms of evolution: Heredity and Natural Selection
28 May 2009: Origin of humankind
4 June 2009: Darwinian agriculture
30 July 2009: Road to civilisation
6 August 2009: Human demography
20 August 2009: Proliferation of technology and communication
10 September 2009: Human impact: On the environment
8 October 2009: Human impact: Resistance, ectoparasites, HIV/Aids, antibiotics
22 October 2009: How to care for the world
12 February 2009: The future of evolution

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
13 February 2009

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