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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

A Strategic Maths and Science Education Initiative at the Qwaqwa Campus
2009-11-17

Representatives of the Natural and Agricultural Sciences and Education Faculties as well as the Qwaqwa Campus Management recently convened a workshop on a strategic new Maths and Science Education Initiative to be offered from the Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). The two faculties have agreed to partner in order to offer programmes that will contribute to the development of well-qualified Maths and Science teachers and the improvement of Maths and Science education in local schools.

The programme will be based on a strong research foundation and will also involve extensive partnerships with schools in the Qwaqwa region. Amongst others, the initiative will include the possible introduction of a new programme specifically targeting prospective Maths and Science teachers, as well as the development of modules that focus on the critical content that needs to be covered in the curriculum at Grades 10 to 12.

The initiative emerges against a background of major shortages in science and technology skills in the country, poor performance in Maths and Science in South African schools, a lack of resources such as laboratories in schools, concerns about the content knowledge of qualified teachers and the high demand for Maths and Science teachers, together with very small numbers actually qualifying in these areas. A committee with representatives from both faculties as well as representatives from the Qwaqwa and Main Campuses has been formed to take the planning for this initiative forward. A full business plan is due to be completed in early 2010.

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