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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

Prof. Jansen is a "charmer", say students
2010-09-14

Prof. Jansen with Transport personnel.
Prof. Jansen with a B.Ed. student, Nokubonga Mdlalose.
Prof Jansen with Mr Samuel Mensah.
Prof Jansen with Sibusiso Macu, Sindiswa Masango, Mbali Phakathi and Masebabatso Mofokeng.
Prof. Jansen with Ms Mtombeni (in a white coat )

CHARMING, DOWN TO EARTH, STREEWISE … these are some of the words staff and students on the Qwaqwa Campus used to describe our Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jonathan Jansen during his recent courtesy visit to the campus.

Prof. Jansen easily mingled and joined in conversations like a person who was acquainted to the groups of friends that he spoke to. Topics ranged from “girlfriends and boyfriends, how easy or difficult that course was, this and that party”, and of course serious academic talk.

“Prof. Jansen jokingly asked me about my white coat and whether I was a medical doctor. And when I answered that I am a cleaners’ supervisor, he became more interested in what I had to tell him,’ said Ms Dineo Mtombeni, a Maintenance Services supervisor.

“He continued to praise me and my colleagues for the cleanliness on campus and I must say he showed that he is a caring person, despite his position,” concluded Ms Mtombeni.

“I was happy to see Prof. Jansen chatting informally with students and staff. I asked him what he thought of our campus and he said he would know it better once he started teaching here once or twice a week,” said Mr Samuel Mensah, Economics lecturer.

“I then invited him to present some Economics classes and he roared with laughter about the difficulty of dealing with our micro and macro aspects of the subject and I asked him to keep it down as that would justify my students’ fear of the subject,” laughed Mr Mensah.

“He is a nice and friendly person,” said a 19-year-old Bachelor of  Commerce student Masebabatso Mofokeng.

“We shared a joke or two with him and it was one of our best experiences here on campus,” added friends, Sindiswa Masango (19) and Mbali Phakathi (19), who are also studying for their Bachelor of Commerce degrees.

A Bachelor of Education student, Nokubonga Mdlalose (20) described Prof. Jansen as a ‘charmer’.

“He is generous with his time, despite the high position that he occupies. He is approachable, friendly, charming, cool, calm and collected,” said Nokubonga.

“He asked me about my studies and I told him I wanted to make a difference in as far as teaching science is concerned. He was very interested in my Biology experiments and I am so glad I met him,” concluded Nokubonga.

– Thabo Kessah

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