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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 honours Dr Ben Ngubane
2010-05-19

 
 Prof. Teuns Verschoor, acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, and Dr Ben Ngubane.
Photo: Stephen Collett


The University of the Free State (UFS) yesterday conferred an honorary doctorate on Dr Ben Ngubane, Chairperson of the SABC Board, during its autumn graduation ceremony held on the South Campus in Bloemfontein.

Dr Ngubane received the degree Philosophiae Doctor (Honoris Causa) for his immense contribution towards positioning South Africa as a major and an influential player in the development of arts, culture, science and technology internationally.

“I want to thank the UFS for this honour bestowed on me and accept this honorary doctorate in all humility and with great gratitude. I am comfortable to regard myself inextricably part of this university and its mission and will always be a worthy ambassador for this institution and what it represents. I am a proud Kovsie!” said Dr Ngubane after receiving the honorary doctorate.

“The world is changing at a rapid pace. Universities not only respond to such changes, they have become critical engines in the reshaping of that world through knowledge production and research innovation. Sitting at the tip of the African continent, and in the centre of South Africa, it is crucial to the ambitions and agendas of the UFS to be constantly aware of how the world of knowledge, innovation and scholarship is changing with respect to higher education, and how the UFS can best contribute to and benefit from such changes,” he said.

“A university worthy of its name thrives on the universality of ideas and people that come with the cross-currents of international scholars and students on its campus. The International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice, to be launched shortly at the UFS has the potential to become a leading centre of scholarship acknowledged globally.”

Dr Ngubane said that the UFS is now well positioned and has the right strategies in place to become truly internationally recognised, with a proven ability to deal successfully with diversity, embedding in its students a humaneness and respect for the dignity of others, as well as an institution with an increasing through-put rate and with research outputs displaying excellence at international level.

Dr Ngubane was the first Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in the new, democratic South Africa appointed by the former President, Nelson Mandela, in 1994. He was re-appointed to lead this ministry again by former President Thabo Mbeki in 1999.

As Premier of KwaZulu-Natal from 1996 to 1999, Dr Ngubane is credited for his role in bringing about peace and reducing the political violence that ravaged the province at that time. In 2004 he was appointed as Ambassador to Japan where he initiated, among other projects, the South Africa-Japan University Forum (SAJU).

He holds Honorary Doctorates from the universities of Natal, Zululand, the Medical University of South Africa (Medunsa) and the Tshwane University of Technology.

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

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