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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

Our Abe Bailey scholars are packing for the UK
2011-08-16

 

Nida Jooste and Ryan Lamb
Photo: Earl Coetzee

Academic excellence and strong leadership has become synonymous with our university, as our two Rhodes scholars for 2011, and the recent announcement of our two Abe Bailey scholars from the UFS have shown.

Nida Jooste and Ryan Lamb are two of the proud recipients of Abe Bailey Travel Bursaries and will be heading off to the United Kingdom on 26 August 2011, to visit several universities in England and Scotland. These two were chosen from hundreds of UFS applicants and will join Abe Bailey bursary holders from the rest of the country.

Both students are academic achievers, but also excel in other fields. This is what set them apart from the rest of the applicants for the bursaries.

Ryan (23), a Medical Physics honours student at our Faculty of Health Sciences, received the Senate Medal for the best bachelor’s degree student at the UFS. He was one of a hundred students at the Brightest Young Minds Summit this year and was one of the 2008 delegates to the World Youth Forum, hosted by the International Association for Poetry and Solidarity in Italy.

This young man is the founder of a group called Poets Anonymous, which provides a platform where poets, artists and dancers in Bloemfontein can express themselves.

Nida (21) is a very familiar face on our Bloemfontein Campus, as she served as the Deputy Chairperson of the Interim Student Council for the past year.

This fourth-year LL.B. student says she has known about the Abe Bailey bursary since her first year, but had to wait to apply, since the scholarship is only open to final-year students and junior lecturers. She applied last year, but did not even make it to the short list for candidates.

“I realise now that I was not involved enough then. Luckily I became much more involved in campus activities during the past year and also improved my academic performance greatly,” she says.

Nida and Ryan both hope to use the opportunity to learn new approaches to solving problems. Ryan says he is looking forward to the opportunity to network with other bursary holders and to share experiences with them, before returning to the UFS to implement what he had learned.

Nida says she also hopes to see how universities in First-World Countries operate, in order to apply that knowledge when she returns to the UFS.

 

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