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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 apologises for noise disturbance during newcomers' student festival
2010-02-01

Last night (Saturday, 30 January 2010), the University of the Free State (UFS) received various complaints regarding disturbance caused by the noise during a student function that took place at the Rag Farm on the Main Campus.

"I wish to apologise on behalf of the UFS for the inconvenience that residents in the neighbouring residential areas had to suffer during the Newcomers’ Student Festival last night,” said Mr Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS.

The function took place to conclude the welcoming period for new students. “Although strict measures applied regarding the staging of the event, amongst others, cut-off times for the performances of the guest artists and die organisation of the Rag Farm to prevent excessive noise, various unexpected factors made this difficult,” said Mr Buys.

One of the factors was the fact the more than double the expected number of spectators attended the event. As a result of this, measures pertaining to crowd control had to be adjusted. “Although we managed to end the event without any incidents, I am truly sorry that we could not bring the disturbance caused to the neighbouring suburbs to an end earlier,” he said.

“We are committed to finding a sustainable solution to those types of challenges that student events at the Rag Farm can offer to the neighbouring residential areas. Therefore we are going to call meetings with residents and community leaders of the residential areas in order to resolve the problems in a collaborative manner,” Mr Buys said.

An internal evaluation of the situation shall also be undertaken in order to rectify any possible errors or shortcomings in the organisation of the Newcomers’ Student Festival, as well as regarding the organisation of future student events.

“We would like to thank residents of the neighbouring residential areas for the exceptional way in which they often exercise patience, show understanding and make allowances for the times when student activities taking place on the Main Campus become demanding. It is therefore important for us to find solutions to challenges in this regard and engage in meaningful cooperation with residents,” said Mr Buys.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
31 January 2010
 

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