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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 receives an award from the World Universities Forum
2011-01-11

The University of the Free State (UFS) has received the World Universities Forum (WUF) Award for Best Practice in Higher Education during 2010.

The Best Practice Award recognises the most significant practices of the year around the world. The UFS’s implementation of a number of interlocking innovations to transform the institution is recognised with the award.
 
These innovations include:
  • campus-wide racial integration among students;
  • the reinvigoration of the academic culture;
  • the nurturing of the most promising young scholars by means of the Vice-Chancellor's Prestige Young Scholars Programme;
  • sending 71 first-year students to top American universities to assist with their development into non-racial campus leaders;
  • the revision of the undergraduate curriculum to promote a cross-disciplinary approach to key societal problems;
  • raising the entry requirements;
  • the facilitation of open access to campus leadership through sessions with the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof. Jonathan  Jansen – providing opportunities for public discussion between senior leadership, staff and students;
  • the UFS also extended this spirit of dialogue internationally through the inauguration of its International Advisory Council consisting of key thinkers and practitioners;
  • the identification of 20 of the most dysfunctional high schools in the Free State Province and the building of relationships with those schools. This university-school partnership is based on a strict contract of reciprocal commitments to increase the chances of black children attending university. The WUF applauded this as the most innovative step.
 
“We at the UFS are humbled, but encouraged by the recognition of academic excellence and institutional transformation that comes with this prestigious international award,” said Prof. Jansen.
 
The WUF said in a statement that these innovations demonstrate the profound impact higher education practices can have when they are well conceived and implemented.  “We applaud these innovations and the ways in which they promote racial harmony, student success and overall academic vitality,” the statement reads.
 
The Best Practice Award will be announced formally at this year’s World Universities Forum, which will be held at the Hong Kong Institute of Education from 14-16 January 2011. 
 
 A message of appreciation from Prof. Jansen will be read by Prof. Fazal Rizvi, Programme Convenor of the WUF 2011 during the award ceremony.


Media Release
10 January 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

 

 

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