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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

Golden Key Chapter of the UFS walks away with gold status
2011-10-13

 

This generation has to find a mission, something they can be as passionate about as their predecessors of the 1970s were. A greater nation has just risen. At the 2011 South African Golden Key Summit, were from left: Mr Ruddy Banyini, outgoing President: UFS Chapter; Mr Puso Thahane, President: Wits Chapter, and Mr Katleho Mohono, Vice-President (Internal): Wits Chapter.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

Our university earned gold status as one of the top chapters in the country. This was one of four awards won by the UFS at the 2011 South African Golden Key Summit held at the Bloemfontein Campus from 6-8 October 2011.

Mr Ruddy Banyini, outgoing  Golden Key president (UFS) and the president of the Wits Chapter jointly received the Regional Student Leader of the Year award. The UFS Chapter also took third place for Best Community Service as well as for Best Campus Awareness Initiative. This follows hot on the heels of the chapter winning the Golden Key International Chapter Service Award for the second consecutive year in May 2011.
 
The summit also yielded some new challenges for all chapters. Mr Banyini and his counterparts from the University of Witwatersrand are on a mission to cultivate a nation of thinkers. This follows the successful hosting of a Thinkers Symposium by the Wits Chapter to determine the contribution thinkers could make towards shaping a better society. “This initiative will see all students on campus mobilised and actively participating,” Mr Banyini said. “Thoughts without action are just thoughts. We are all aware of social ills in our country, yet only a few come forth with a solution,” stated Mr Katleho Mohono (Wits).
 
The involvement of Golden Key members in helping to create solutions for national problems has triggered a series of think-tank symposiums organised by various chapters. The result has been an exponential growth in the numbers of those collectively involved in the on-line National Planning Commission’s consultative forum. “The impact of mobilising the best current academic achievers in Higher Education opens up exciting new possibilities through constructive student engagement with society’s issues,” Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar at the UFS,” said.

 

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