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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 appoints top academic
2010-05-13

 
Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo


The University of the Free State (UFS) has acquired the services of a well-known political analyst, Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo, as a Senior Professor in the university’s Centre for Africa Studies (CAS).

Prof. Kondlo, who worked for the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) prior to this permanent appointment, is an accomplished researcher and a well-heeled scholar in issues of transitional democracies, governance and social justice.

“I joined this university particularly because of its difficult history and what I have observed to be a sincere orientation to transform,” he said.

“I think that under the leadership of Prof. Jonathan Jansen (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS) and his team we are going to see a very interesting rebirth of the University of the Free State. And some of us who believe in ideas of reconciliation in negotiated democracies as part of nation formation actually feel we should throw the best we have into the transformation process and support this great guy.”

“I see my appointment as part of the excellence aspect of the transformation journey because the UFS, even though it does good work in certain areas, is not highly rated in terms of academic excellence and publications. That is why I was glad to be appointed to make a humble contribution,” he said.

“I think it is going to be useful to the UFS to have more people of high academic standing because the idea to improve scholarship is very central and of course shifts the focus to scholarly discourse. Let scholarly excellence reclaim the centre of the debate as the leadership deal with legacy issues and genuine transformation.”

“Let us see academics from this institution stand up to articulate key issues that are relevant to state formations and transformation in the country. Let us debate our role as academics in supporting the consolidation of our young democracy”

Prof. Kondlo sees his key role within the CAS as improving research output.

“In other words, I see myself as leading the way in the generation of journal articles, books and also national and international seminars,” he explained.

He said a lot of work still needed to be done, though, to profile the CAS nationally and on the continent as it was still a new initiative and thus relatively unknown.

“We will need to be very innovative in terms of research initiatives and identification of research associates in order to profile the work of the Centre,” he said.

“I think the UFS will claim its seat in the greater African academic family by virtue of the quality of its products. We do not want to re-invent the wheel; we want to come up with products that are unique and in that way help this university to claim its rightful position within the greater African academic family.”

Prof. Kondlo has also worked for, amongst others, the Department of Land Affairs, the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Chamber of Commerce, as well as being involved with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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

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