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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 reflects on the life of Charlotte Maxeke
2011-08-05

 

Some of the guests who attended the Charlotte Maxeke Lecture were from the left front: Carol Mokobe; Director of the Free State Provincial Government Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities; Prof.Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic; Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training; Dr.Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations(actg); Prof. Nicky Morgan, Vice-Rector: Operations. Back from the left are: Dr. Derek Swemmer, Registrar and Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Institutional Affairs.
Photo: Stephen Collett

More than 200 people, amongst them the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Prof.  Hlengiwe Mkhize, came together at our university to reflect on the life of ANC Women’s League stalwart Charlotte Maxeke, during the Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture organised annually by the Free State Provincial Government and our university as a lead-up to National Women’s Day on Tuesday, 9 August 2011.

This year was the fourth memorial lecture and Prof. Mkhize delivered the main address under the theme “Women’s access to education, science and technology for economic growth and development in bringing about positive change, living in extraordinary times”

Prof. Mkhize told guests Charlotte Maxeke’s life was too rich and complex to capture during the night and listed many of Maxeke’s achievements during her life and times. These included Maxeke being the first woman to graduate with a science degree from the University of Wilberforce, Ohio.  Prof. Mkhize said Charlotte Maxeke’s science degree was not a personal achievement, because she went back to the people and served by opening the Wilberforce Institute in Evaton, Vereeniging, after her return from the United States.

Prof. Mkhize applauded our university for organising the lecture, saying the university’s commitment was appropriate for the contribution Charlotte Maxeke made to women’s empowerment.  She said government have a huge interest in our university and said the lecture provided an opportunity to dialogue and to use the experience to improve the country’s institutions. Delivering the last part of her address, Prof. Mkhize said she hopes the lecture will lead to great things, with the local community also becoming involved in organising the event.

Dr. Choice Makhetha, Acting Vice-Rector:  External Relations, announced at the event that the university will open a women’s memorial garden on Tuesday, 9 August 2011  to honour women who made a contribution in society.
 

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