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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

UFS council elects Nwaila and Hancke
2005-03-15

Dr Charles Nwaila, Superintendent-General of Education in the Free State, was elected Vice-chairperson of the UFS Council and Judge Faan Hancke was re-elected as Chairperson today.

According to the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Frederick Fourie, the election of Dr Nwaila is an important achievement for the UFS as Dr Nwaila is a well known leader in education in the Free State.

Dr Nwaila pledged to work constructively with the UFS council and management to ensure that the UFS benefits all people of the province and the country.

The appointments are valid for a term of three years from 1 June 2005 to 31 May 2008.

The elections took place at the quarterly meeting of the UFS Council where a number of other key transformation steps were approved.

The Council approved a Strategic Plan for the UFS which reflects a renewed focus on transformation of the institution, calling it an important roadmap for the future of the UFS.

According to Prof Fourie, the Strategic Plan tried strike a balance between continuity and change, addressing the need to remain an excellent university in an ever-changing context and environment.

Prof Fourie said transformation had many aspects and dimensions and could not be reduced to an issue of numbers.

The Strategic Plan identifies five strategic priorities and corresponding challenges in the next phase of transformation.

The priorities are:

  • quality and excellence

  • equity, diversity and redress

  • financial sustainability

  • regional co-operation and engagement.

  • outward thrust

Prof Fourie said that besides the five strategic priorities the plan also reflected concrete actions and interventions to address them.

He said the renewed focus on transformation is embedded in the priorities and specific actions that are identified.

The Council congratulated the management for the roadmap and for the achievements that have already been achieved in terms of transformation.

In order to draft a comprehensive Transformation Plan that will give substance to certain aspects of the UFS Strategic plan – or roadmap – the Council approved the establishment of a Transformation Plan Team.

The team will consist of about 16 people, which includes the two coordinators, Prof Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Academic Operations, and Dr Ezekiel Moraka, Vice-Rector: Student Affairs.

According to Prof Verschoor, the team was chosen and approved by the Executive Management earlier for the individual contributions that they could make.

While the individuals do not represent particular constituencies on campus they are a very diverse group of persons in terms of race, gender and various sections of the campus and the satellite campuses.

Prof Fourie, said there was an urgency and importance attached to the work of the Transformation Plan Team.

He said that while the team must produce a plan within a tight deadline, the task must be carried out very well, which could mean different stages in the work of the team.

According to the Rector, the UFS must take the lead in best practice transformation, while not underestimating the complexity of the issues facing the UFS.

The full list of names will be finalized soon.

MEDIA RELEASE
Issued by: Mnr Anton Fisher
Director: Strategic Communication
Cel: 072 207 8334
Tel: (051) 401-2749
11 Maart 2005

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