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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 Sign Language expert appointed to a national government committee
2010-05-13

Photo: Mangaliso Radebe


The National Department of Basic Education has appointed the Head of the Department of Afro-Asiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice at the University of the Free State (UFS), Mr Philemon Akach, to serve in its Curriculum Management Team.

“It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been appointed as a member of the Curriculum Management Team to manage the development of Sign Language as a subject to be listed in the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12,” the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, wrote in her letter to Mr Akach.

“I am excited, after mulling over this, saying that maybe this time around it may just work because, from experience, I can sensitise the other committee members on how to build in an implementation strategy right from the beginning,” said Mr Akach.

“Over the last 12 years we have implemented the proposed part of the curriculum for tertiary institutions at this university, so our input will be a practical one. We have not only theoretically proven it can be done but have developed multimedia teaching materials as a legacy to sustain the course as a permanent feature at this level. I will share this with the management to implement what is already working.”

He was a Director of Sign Language and Interpreting Development with the Deaf Federation of South Africa for three years (1996-1998). During that time he directed the development of the South African Sign Language (SASL) curriculum as a school subject from Grades 0-12, as well as SASL as a second language, and a proposal to tertiary institutions on what they should take note of, should they considered introducing SASL as an academic course. All of these were handed over to the Department of Education in 1997.

“Committees are a good tool to write proposals but if there is no policing of the implementation, not much seems to work,” he said.

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

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