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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.

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The management teams of the University of the Free State and the Vista University Bloemfontein campus set the wheels rolling for the incorporation of
2003-05-22

The management teams of the University of the Free State and the Vista University Bloemfontein campus set the wheels rolling for the incorporation of the Vista Bloemfontein campus into the UFS.

The incorporation process will be dealt with in two phases. The first phase would be preparing for a possible incorporation on 1 January 2004, including possible streamlining and review of programmes. The second phase would be part of developing the long term vision or optimal reconfiguration of the Vista facility (within the UFS as a multi-campus institution) in the interests of higher education in the Free State and the communities surrounding the two campuses in Bloemfontein.

At a meeting at the UFS both parties reached consensus about the process and set about establishing task teams to deal with critical issues, such as governance and management, financial management, human resources, information systems, library services, student support and administration, academic planning and academic programmes.

Prof Talvin Schultz, Head of the Vista Bloemfontein campus, committed this campus to making the process of incorporation into the UFS an exemplary process. UFS Rector Prof Frederick Fourie said the Free State should continue its tradition as a province where things happen and where higher education transformation has proceeded faster than elsewhere in the country.

Both emphasised the need for an inclusive process of consultation with staff, students and the community on key aspects of the incorporation.

They indicated that all planning should take into account a possible date of incorporation of 1 January 2004, pending finalisation by the respective Councils. The Councils of both institutions need to give feedback to the Minister of Education on the date of incorporation by the end of June, and the task teams must deliver an initial report on progress before then.


Prof Talvin Schultz (Vista Bloemfontein campus) and Prof Frederick Fourie (UFS)

 

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