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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

Medical practitioners join forces to help students studying medicine with loans
2010-02-24

Medical practitioners from the University of the Free State’s Faculty of Health Sciences have established a loan fund for enrolled students studying medicine to assist them with their studies. This loan fund has paid out a total amount of R329 106,00 over the past three years.

During 2002 the faculty’s School of Medicine identified a gap in the awarding of bursaries to enrolled students studying medicine at the UFS.

Many students who follow the course M.B.Ch.B struggle to obtain bursaries and are often forced to cease their studies due to a lack of funds.

A group of medical practitioners addressed this gap by providing funds in the form of voluntary out-of-pocket contributions towards a study loan fund to deserving students. This fund has received over R1million in contributions over the years.

Although the loans do not cover the full costs of a particular student, it brings the necessary financial relief and enables the student to focus on his/her studies and at least register. It also gives the student the time at the beginning of the year to attain more money to study.

The loan is repayable as soon as the student is employed. Repayment is calculated on the income of the individual and is administrated by an outside organisation at a minimal interest rate that only kicks in when the loan becomes repayable.

The School of Medicine encourages students who qualify for this loan to seek alternative funding. In this way, more students can be supported annually.

Currently an average of eight to twelve students per year are helped from this loan fund.

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

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