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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 staff gets a salary adjustment of 10,00%
2009-11-04

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) management and trade unions have agreed on an improvement in the service benefits of staff of 12,81% for 2010. This includes a general salary adjustment of 10,00% (according to the estimated government subsidy that will be received in 2010).

The agreement was signed on Friday, 30 October 2009 by representatives of the UFS management and the trade unions UVPERSU and NEHAWU.

The negotiating parties agreed that adjustments could vary from a minimum of 8,98% or more, depending on the government subsidy and the model forecasts. If the minimum of 8,98% is not affordable, the parties will re-negotiate.

An additional once-off, non-pensionable bonus of R2 000 will also be paid to staff later this year. The bonus will be paid to all staff members who were in the employment of the university on UFS conditions of service on 29 October 2009 and who assumed duties before 1 October 2009. The bonus is payable in recognition of the role played by staff during the year to promote the UFS as a university of excellence and as confirmation of the role and effectiveness of the remuneration model.

It is the intention to pass the maximum benefit possible on to staff without exceeding the limits of financial sustainability of the institution. For this reason, the negotiating parties reaffirmed their commitment to the Multiple-year, Income-related Remuneration Improvement Model used as a framework for negotiations. The model and its applications are unique and have as a point of departure that the UFS must be and remains financially sustainable.

Agreement was reached that 2,45% will be allocated for growth in capacity building to ensure that provision is made for the growth of the UFS over the last few years. An allocation of 0,14% will be made towards the final phasing in of fringe benefits. It will be used to provide group life insurance to all service workers. An agreement was also reached that 0,22% will be allocated towards structural adjustments of certain levels of the support services salary structure.

The implementation date for the salary adjustment is 1 January 2010. The adjustment will be calculated on the total remuneration package.

In 2009, a total salary adjustment of 16,13% was paid to staff and they received a once-off non-pensionable bonus of R3 390 at the end of 2008.

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

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