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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 appoints Dr Derek Swemmer as Registrar
2010-09-30

Dr Derek Swemmer

The University of the Free State (UFS) has appointed Dr Derek Swemmer, current Registrar of the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), as its Registrar.

Dr Swemmer, who is currently recognised as one of the most experienced, competent and outstanding registrars in South Africa, will join the UFS as from 1 October 2010. He was Registrar at WITS since 1995.

“I am enthusiastic at the thought of working at the UFS under its new leadership and in a time of change. This appointment creates the opportunity for me to assess the many existing practices of the UFS and to seek to enhance these based on my own experience at WITS,” he said.

Dr Swemmer started his academic career as a part-time student assistant at the University of Pretoria (UP) in 1974. He also taught at the Christ’s Hospital Public School in the United Kingdom and was a full-time lecturer in the Department of English at the University of South Africa (UNISA) until he joined WITS as Personal Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal in 1985.

Dr Swemmer holds a D Litt et Phil in English from the University of South Africa. He received numerous awards including the South African Golden Key International Honours Society Chapter Adviser of the Year in 2006 and 2008, an extraordinary second Certificate of Honour by the International Education Association of South Africa and the Golden Key International Leadership Council President’s Award.

Dr Swemmer chaired, amongst others, the WITS Issues Management Group and the WITS Crisis Committee; and was an Honorary Treasurer of the International Education Association of South Africa and an Honorary Secretary of the English Academy of Southern Africa.

He authored, co-authored and co-edited a number of text books, journals and magazines. He also delivered a number of papers at national and international conferences.

Dr Swemmer will be taking up the position as the single registrar of the UFS.

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

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