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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

Learning Afrikaans for foreign-language speakers
2009-02-17

Learning Afrikaans for foreign-language speakers

Staff Development of CHESD and the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French, offers the following professional enrichment programme:

Learning Afrikaans for foreign-language speakers

The course start on Tuesday, 17 February 2009 (introductory meeting) at 17:00 in the Benito Khotseng Building, E-Learning Laboratory, room 107B. The contact time is two hours per week for ten weeks. Ms Ida Meiring, Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French will present the course. Contact her at x2816. The closing date is Wednesday, 16 February 2009.

Please confirm your attendance with Ms Clidean Swiegelaar at swiegcc@ufs.ac.za. For any enquiries regarding the course you can contact Prof. Angelique van Niekerk, Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at vnieka@ufs.ac.za or x2339/2816.

More information about the course is available at:

Would you like to learn to speak Afrikaans? Every semester the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French offers a very basic as well as a little more advanced CD-ROM course for foreign-language speakers who have little or no prior knowledge of Afrikaans. The duration of the course is ten weeks and classes usually take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Successful participants will receive a certificate. Use is made of Afrikaans language jokes and Afrikaans music in the course, which promotes self-activity. Contact Mrs I Meiring at meiringi@ufs.ac.za for enquiries.

The course and CD are offered free of charge to staff members who enrol, whilst persons who are not employed by the university pay R800 per course.

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