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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 Rector spreads the Kovsie spirit
2010-02-12

Prof. Jonathan Jansen (middle) and UFS students Willien du Preez (far left) and Mbulelo Mpofana (far right) together with learners they met while on their tour of Eastern Cape schools.
Photo: Supplied


Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), recently joined the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences on a tour of schools in the Eastern Cape Province. Prof. Jansen sees the tour as a staggering success: “It was hard work, but a lot of fun. I can’t wait to visit other provinces and spread the true Kovsie spirit throughout South Africa.”

The tour kicked off at Aliwal North, where 36 students, parents and teachers from schools in Aliwal North were addressed.

In Queenstown they were awaited by more than a hundred people. Hoërskool Hangklip, Queen’s College Boys High, Girls High and Maria Louw Secondary School attended the function.

The evening function was hosted by Hudson Park High School. Representatives from many schools, including George Randell High School, Stirling High School and Claredon Girls High School made up the 174 people in attendance. The next morning motivational speeches were delivered at Grens Hoërskool and Stirling High School. George Randall High School also requested a visit from Prof. Jansen during the previous evening’s function.

The final function was held at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth. Hundred-and-thirty-four people from the top schools in Port Elizabeth attended the function. These included Victoria Park High School, Theodor Herzl School, Hoërskool Andrew Rabie, Alexander Road High School, Ethembeni Enrichment Centre and Nico Malan in Humansdorp.

Sadly, the tour had to end, but at least it ended on a high note. Ethembeni Enrichment Centre and Chapman’s High School were the last schools on the itinerary, but certainly not the least. The schools might not have all the resources at their disposal, but their enthusiasm and unquenchable spirit and pride were incredible.

Willien du Preez and Mbulelo Nkululeko, two students who accompanied the tour, were awed at the experience: “It was not only a privilege, but also proof that the university strives to give students wonderful learning opportunities. It also confirms our Rector’s stand: the university is not just offering students a degree, but also the opportunity to grow as humans. And that is what adds real value to our lives.”

According to Prof. Tienie Crous, Dean: Economic and Management Sciences, the tour achieved its goals, and much more: “We redeemed our university in other provinces while marketing it at the same time.”
 

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