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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

Rasool lauds our university
2011-10-24

 
At the dinner at the residence of the South African Ambassador to the USA, Mr Ebrahim Rasool, were, from the left: Prof. Debra Stewart, President of the Council of Graduate Schools in the USA; South African Ambassador, Mr Rasool; Prof. Jansen; and Prof. Molly Corbett Broad, President of the American Council on Education (ACE).

The Ambassador for South Africa to the United States of America (USA), Mr Ebrahim Rasool, recently hosted Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of our university and a group of representatives from major science councils, foundations and universities at his home in Washington DC. Our university is the first South African university to be hosted at the official home of the Ambassador.

“The University of the Free State has shown South Africa and the world how to work with the past and how to make the past work for them. “You are a thought leader who had the privilege not to be comfortable with your own ideas of history; you understood the need to change and embraced it. You have moved the fastest towards racial and human togetherness of all the South African universities,” Mr Rasool said.
 
Prof. Jansen responded by saying that Africa needed strong academic universities and that had to be the focus of tertiary institutions across the continent. “We must create opportunities for people to be together and to learn from each other. The UFS is an experiment of human togetherness – and this experiment is taking off,” he said. 
 
During his visit to the USA, Prof. Jansen also discussed research partnerships and new placements for UFS staff and students through exchange visits.

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