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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

"We cannot train for unemployment"
2009-11-16

The prestige forum was attended by, from the left: Prof. Dirk van Damme, Head of the Centre for Education research and innovation at OECD in Paris, France; Dr Saretha Brüssow of the Planning Unit: Teaching and Learning; Mr Francois Marais, Director of CHESD; Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor; Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector Academic Planning and the guest speaker; and Prof. Magda Fourie of the University of Stellenbosch.
Photo: Gerhard Louw
“We cannot train for unemployment. We must continuously look at what employers and the world want, and update,” Prof. Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Teaching and Learning at the University of Stellenbosch, recently said at a prestige forum for teaching and learning at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Prof. Fourie, former Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS delivered the second Magda Fourie Prestige Lecture at the forum. The forum was presented by the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Learning (CHESD) and the Planning Unit: Teaching and Learning. Various presentations were made on innovations in teaching and learning at the UFS.

Prof. Fourie said research has shown that the knowledge, skills, competencies and values of students are out of sync with the needs of the world out there. Higher Education must look at the context in which it operates and the relevance of its teaching and learning. “We are busy with the cultivation of humanity,” she said.

The UFS is doing excellent work with its bridging programmes and other universities will have to give attention to it. The UFS is also excellent in its extended programmes and have more women and foreign students than the national average. The UFS, however, has a lower percentage of black students than the national average.

The UFS is also excellent in terms of postgraduate students. The national average is 36%, with the UFS boasting 47%. Prof. Fourie expressed her concern for the low throughput in Business and Economics at the UFS where only 13% of those who enter the system graduate. “These are the people we need for this country’s economy.”

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