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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

First Beyers Naudé lecture held at UFS' Qwaqwa Campus
2011-03-15

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), delivered the first lecture to celebrate Dr Beyers Naudé’s life and legacy in a series of public lectures at the UFS’ Qwaqwa Campus.

In his address, Prof. Jansen warned that South Africa cannot afford a genocide of which the seeds are sown by those who continue to use racist and derogatory terms against their fellow citizens.
 
“The present debate in the media that was started by Jimmy Manyi’s comments and subsequently followed by the column by Kuli Roberts in the Sunday World about what they called ‘coloureds’ in the Western Cape, is not a ‘coloured’ debate. It is a South African debate and the silence from certain quarters of our society is disturbing,” said Prof. Jansen.
 
He pointed out that all countries that had previously experienced genocide had started in the same way when “those who were in power chose to keep quiet when wrong and dangerous statements were being uttered”.
 
“This country needs courageous citizens and leaders like ‘Oom Bey’ who sacrificed all the privileges and opportunities of being an Afrikaner in apartheid South Africa. He courageously stood up against his own people by declaring apartheid as evil and un-Christian. That’s the consciousness that all Kovsie students and the entire community must strive for.
 
We want Kovsie graduates who are also graduates of life. We want Kovsie graduates who will have the conscience to question wrong-doing, irrespective of who did it, and irrespective of where wrong-doing is being done. That’s the Kovsies we will all be proud of,” Prof. Jansen concluded. 
 
The lecture was preceded by a student debate on the theme and was the first of the four in the 8th annual Beyers Naudé Memorial Lecture Series themed Conscience and courage in the struggle for justice. The second lecture will be presented by Prof. Kwandile Kondlo, who heads the UFS’ Centre for African Studies, on 28 April 2011, and the main event is scheduled for 9 September 2011.
 
 
Media Release
14 March 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
 

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