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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.

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Public Tourism lecture at Qwaqwa Campus a first
2011-10-03

 

Attending the Tourism Month celebrations were from the left: Dr Elias Malete, Qwaqwa Campus Principal; Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk; and Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations (actg).
Photo: Thabo Kessah

Tourism Month was celebrated in style at our Qwaqwa Campus with the hosting of the first ever Public Tourism Lecture. The lecture was part of the national Tourism Month celebrations and was organised by the National Department of Tourism in partnership with the UFS, the Central University of Technology, Free State and the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

The keynote address was presented by UJ’s Ms Milena Ivanovic, whose paper was entitled Cultural Tourism – Global and Local Perspective. This presentation was followed by a discussion by a panel of experts, namely Prof. Doreen Atkinson, Ms Merle Naidoo (both from the UFS), Prof. Albert Strydom (CUT), Dr Webber Ndoro (African World Heritage Fund), Ms Leonore Beukes (Department of Tourism) and Dr Kevin Mearns (UJ).

In acknowledgement of the role that institutions of higher learning play in advancing the tourism agenda, Minister of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, said that South Africa was now in a better position to welcome tourists compared to pre-1994.

“Before 1994 we had less than 500 000 foreign arrivals in the country while in 2010 we had over 10 million of whom 8 million were tourists. In 2006 only 26 airlines were using our airports, but now there are over 50 airlines,” he said.

Also in attendance were Free State MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mxolisi Dukwana, and the UFS team led by Qwaqwa Campus Principal, Dr Elias Malete, and Vice-Rector: External Relations, Dr Choice Makhetha.

The Tourism Month festivities were concluded by a tough, but informative Poster Presentation Competition that pitted UFS, UJ and CUT students against each other.

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