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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. Johan Grobbelaar part of history
2010-09-23

Prof. Johan Grobbelaar from the Department of Plant Sciences at the recent 31st Congress of the International Limnological Society (SIL), which was held in Cape Town.
Photo: Supplied

The 31st Congress of the International Limnological Society (SIL) was recently held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Prof. Johan Grobbelaar from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), who is also the chairperson of the local organising committee (LOC), worked hard for six years to secure the bid to host the congress in South Africa. The LOC consisted of Prof. Grobbelaar, Prof. Brian Allanson, Prof. Jenny Day, Dr Carin van Ginkel and Dr Mike Silberbauer.

SIL was founded in 1922 to further the study and understanding of all aspects of limnology, the science of inland aquatic ecosystems and their management.

Congresses are held every three years and this was the first time that SIL met on the African continent.

Almost 400 delegates from 42 countries attended this congress where the state of the science of limnology was presented with two keynote speakers, six plenary lectures, 230 oral and 76 poster presentations, mostly running in five parallel sessions. Exhibitions displayed some of South Africa’s role players as well as the latest equipment from abroad. Delegates could also join pre- and post-congress excursions and the new SIL journal, Inland Waters, was launched at the congress.

Many of the presentations dealt with water as a limited resource, pollution problems and the impact of climate change. The congress resolved that SIL would play a more prominent role in creating awareness of problems impacting on inland waters and also afforded solutions. The 32nd SIL congress will be held in Budapest, Hungary in 2013.
 

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