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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

Inter-country adoptions can offer relief
2009-08-12

 
At the occasion were, in the front: Prof. Hennie Oosthuizen, head of the Department of Criminal and Medical Law, UFS; back: Adv. Mariëtte Reyneke, head of the Unit for Children’s Rights and senior lecturer in the Department of Law of Procedure and Law of Evidence, UFS, Judge of Appeal Belinda van Heerden, and Adv. Beatri Kruger, also from the Unit for Children’s Rights and senior lecturer in the Department of Criminal and Medical Law, UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett 


Inter-country adoptions must not be taken lightly; however, in some instances it is suitable and can bring relief to a child. These were the words of Katinka Pieterse from Abba Adoptions, which specialises in inter-country adoptions.

She was one of the expert presenters at a recent workshop on inter-country adoptions that was recently presented by the Unit for Children’s rights in the Department of Criminal and Medical Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Judge of Appeal Belinda van Heerden, an expert in the field of Child and Family Law, gave an overview as well as a Southern African perspective on this controversial topic. The Hague Convention sets international standards to protect children from the inherent dangers that accompany inter-country adoptions. The South African law must be aligned with these international standards by incorporating specific stipulations as well as the Hague Convention into legislation applicable to children. There must also be acted in the best interest of the child, said Judge van Heerden. The authorities have safety measures in place to protect children from these dangers. The starting point remains that inter-country adoptions are only considered once one cannot find suitable care in the country of origin.

Prof. Sheryl Buske from the Charlotte School of Law, North Carolina in the United States of America in particular emphasised the dangers of human trafficking that can take place when inter-country adoptions do not adhere to international safety standards. She also pointed out new developments such as the role of surrogate mothers and the adoption of embryos.

The workshop was attended by a large variety of role players, varying from academics, lawyers, social workers, non-governmental organisations, law students and representatives from governmental institutions. Consequently, light was shed on the topic from a number of angles which will be of value to the respective role players. Jurists from Lesotho also expressed their gratitude for the insight they received.

The workshop was of great value to the university because it served the community with expert presentations on this new and sensitive topic. The guidelines and pitfalls that were discussed and pointed out at the workshop cleared uncertainties and brought new insight to the different professions and role players in the field. Furthermore, the bond between the academia and practice were developed and strengthened by the establishment of further cooperation between the parties.

Media Release:
Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
11 August 2009

 

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