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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

Springboks choose Kovsies' sports facilities
2010-09-02

The Springbok team boasts five former Kovsies. From the left, front, are: Flip van der Merwe, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, and Gurthro Steenkamp. At the back, from the left, are: Jannie du Plessis, C.J. van der Linde and Juan Smith.
Photo: Gerhard Louw

Over the years the University of the Free State (UFS) has already produced 67 Springbok and 22 Springbok Sevens players. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the Springboks have chosen the UFS’s sports facilities in preparation for their match against Australia this coming Saturday. They will tackle Australia at the Free State Vodacom Park at 17:00. Five former Kovsies are included in this team. They are Flip van der Merwe, Gurthro Steenkamp, Jannie du Plessis, C.J. van der Linde and Juan Smith.

Kovsies have been providing quality rugby for many decades already. During the 2009 rugby season the UFS rugby club produced 12 players for national teams and 73 players for provincial teams (all age groups). This does not include all the former Kovsies. According to Mr Rockey le Roux from KovsieSport at the UFS, there is currently not one South African Super 14 team that does not include a Kovsie or former Kovsie.

The UFS is also equipped to produce top rugby players. Shimla Park is the main field of Shimla rugby, where all the Shimla games are played. Some of the Varsity Cup games are also played on this field. Boom Prinsloo, the Shimla player named as the 2010 player of the Varsity Cup tournament, is included in the current Springbok Sevens practice team. Shimla Park boasts 1 000-lux lights, which let this field comply with international standards.

There are four more rugby fields that are used for residence rugby. Currently 26 rugby teams of the university's residences and three provincial teams practise on the fields.

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