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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. Heideman appointed new Dean at the UFS
2010-09-27

Prof. Neil Heideman

Prof. Neil Heideman has been appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS). His appointment was approved by the UFS Council during its recent meeting.

Prof. Heideman has been acting in this position since February this year, prior to which he was the Vice-Dean of the Faculty. He joined the UFS in 2003 as the Programme Head of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the Qwaqwa Campus.

“I see my role as Dean as that of a facilitator of processes that will further strengthen the faculty’s academic capacity, optimise the research environment and create a stimulating teaching and learning environment in which students can develop into skilled critical thinkers and socially responsible, global citizens,” he said.

He chairs the faculty advisory committees such as the Research Committee, Academic Programmes Committee, Community Service Subcommittee, Employment Equity Committee and Buildings Committee. He represents the faculty on the National Science and Technology Forum and the National Science Deans’ Forum, and is also a panel member of the Rhodes Scholarship Adjudication Committee.

He has about 23 years’ university teaching experience, and as a Fulbright Fellow offered a series of seminars on South African conservation issues to senior undergraduate and graduate students at Brigham Young University in the United States in 2007.

He has won several academic awards and is an NRF-rated scientist.

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

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