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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

Kovsies blossom with potential
2010-02-04

Pictured with Prof Jansen are, from the left: Marike Botha, Sibusiso Tshabalala, Cumine de Villiers, Portia Lehasa and Meyer Joubert.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse


The Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Jonathan Jansen, recently made closer acquaintance with five top Grade 12 achievers who are currently first-year students at the UFS.

The five students all achieved exceptional results in their final exams.

Cumine de Villiers from the Volkskool Secondary School in Potchefstroom obtained seven distinctions. She is an MBChB I student and resides in Roosmaryn Residence on the Main Campus. People are her passion, which makes a career as a doctor ideal for her. “I can help people physically, as well as emotionally. And save lives!” Her advice to learners is to work hard from Grade 11 already. According to her a balanced life is also very important: “The more you do, the better you can do.” One of her goals is to learn Sesotho while she is studying.

Marike Botha attended Potchefstroom Gymnasium. She obtained seven distinctions. She is also studying MBChB I and plans to become a paediatric surgeon. “I know one is going to lose patients, but one will also save lives.”

She resides in Roosmaryn Residence and plans to enjoy her student life to the full: “I am going to attend everything! Every dance, rugby match and serenade – there are some things in life that one can only experience once, and one’s first year is one of those.” According to her, the Grade 12 work is not that difficult; it is only a lot. She advises matriculants to always to their best and never to leave anything till later.

Sibusiso Tshabalala from HTS Welkom obtained three distinctions. He is studying BCom Law. He chose that degree because it perfectly integrates law and commerce. “In that way I am keeping my career options open”. He chose Kovsies for the opportunity to be part of one of the best Faculties of Law in South Africa. He resides in JBM Hertzog Residence. His advice to matriculants is to fully make use of every opportunity. “There will be setbacks – it is not supposed to be easy. All of that makes you a stronger person. Strive after your own goals – don’t measure them against others’ goals.”

Portia Lehasa from Eunice High School obtained five distinctions. She is studying BA Accounting and resides in Roosmaryn Residence. She chose Kovsies in order to be part of the transformation.

“Transformation leads to growth – and growth is essential for all persons.” She chose accounting because she enjoys challenges. “It is also a skill that will enable me to empower the economic status of South Africa.”

She also wants to become involved in everything on campus and make a difference. “You are going to see me a lot – I am going to change the world!” She also has some advice for matriculants: “It is very important to have a goal. In that way one still has something to strive for. It helps incredibly.”

Meyer Joubert attended the Ferdinand Postma Secondary School in Potchefstroom. He obtained seven distinctions. He is an MBChB I student and resides in Abraham Fischer Residence. “One’s life only becomes meaningful once one does something for someone else; that is why I want to become a doctor. By means of medicine one can make a difference to someone else’s life.” He plans to become the best doctor possible. According to him learners can take it leisurely up to Grade 10. “The requirements for many fields of study, like medicine, already apply from Grade 10. Therefore it is important to start to focus and work hard from then onwards. However, don’t only study! Balance is very important; therefore participate in sports, cultural activities and, of course, socialise.”

Prof. Jansen was, rightly so, impressed by all the talent that have settled at Kovsies this year: “This is only the beginning. With so much potential Kovsies can blossom!”

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
4 February 2010
 

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