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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 leads international conference
2010-05-13

Here Minister Naledi Pandor is introduced to Prof. Martin Kropff, Rector of the Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands. Looking on are Prof. Aldo Stroebel and Melody Mentz.
– Photo Supplied.
The Third Biannual Conference of the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) was held in Cape Town, South Africa during April 2010. The conference was co-hosted by the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). It was the first time that the conference was held in Africa. The conference was attended by more than 400 delegates, representing more than 40 countries around the globe, and was officially opened by Minister Naledi Pandor, Department of Science and Technology (DST). The University of the Free State (UFS) took the lead in organising this event, with Prof. Aldo Stroebel, Vice-President of SARIMA and Director: Internationalisation at the UFS, as Conference President, and Prof. Frans Swanepoel, Director: Research Development at the UFS, as Chairperson of the Programme Committee. Other UFS staff who were members of the organising committee included Melody Mentz (Student Development and Success) and Lise Kriel (Planning Unit). Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Teaching and Learning, participated in a panel discussion on research leadership.

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