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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

One of the UFS's newest members welcomed at international organisation.
2011-03-13

Photo: Gerda-Marié Viviers
Prof. Hussein Solomon

One of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) newest members of excellence was recently welcomed as a new member at the relatively new, yet influential, internationally renowned Our Humanity in the Balance (OHIB) organisation. Prof. Hussein Solomon, a month old Senior Professor in Political Science at the university, said he has always wanted to have made a difference in people's lives and dreamt of becoming part of an organisation such as the OHIB. Proofing of Solomon's dedication to his roots, he believes his focus must remain with the African continent. ''I would like OHIB to focus on making the secession process in Sudan as peaceful as possible as well as focusing on ending the ongoing conflicts in Somalia, the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These are immediate goals. In the medium term we need to examine the issues of democratic transformation in countries like Swaziland and Zimbabwe.''

As this Kovsie has worked in peace NGOs, advised diplomats and acts as a serving officer in the South African Air Force and an academic, the compilation of the OHIB board consisting of academics, former senior diplomats and military people and peace activists would be nothing new to him. ''My role is essentially to bring these disparate communities together and to focus energies on a common project. At the moment much attention is being focused on current developments in Libya.''

Other accomplishments of this former Tuks lecturer include Visiting Professor at the Global Collaboration Centre at Osaka University in Japan, Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and also respective membership on the Security Council of the Gerhson Lehrman Group of Companies, the International Steering Committee of Global Action to Prevent War, and the International Advisory Council of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research in Hawaii. Prof. Solomon was selected in 2008 to serve on the Nelson Mandela Chair of African Studies at Jawahrlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.

His current area of research expertise include conflict and conflict resolution in Africa; South African Foreign Policy; international relations theory; religious fundamentalism and population movements within the developing world. His publications have appeared in several countries around the world including Switzerland, The Russian Federation and Japan.

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