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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

Samantha excels as Dux student
2011-10-26

 

Samantha Renda-Dollman with Dr Choice Makhetha, the sponsor of the DUX Award trophy and Vice-Rector: External Affairs. Sharing the moment with them is Prof. Willie van Zyl, Assistant Campus Principal: Academic.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

Samantha Renda-Dollman, a BSc (Zoology) student at our Qwaqwa Campus has obtained 19 distinctions out of the 22 modules she has written since 2009.

This was revealed during the 2011 Annual Student Affairs Excellence Awards that were held at the Qwaqwa Campus to honour academic, sport and cultural excellence. Her hard work earned Samantha the prestigious Dux student award, which makes her the best overall academic performer of the entire student body at this campus of the UFS. This award was presented to her by its sponsor, Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Affairs, herself a former Dux student.
 
Considering her achievements to date, Samantha agrees with the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who believed that  ”we are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” According to Samantha, one of her biggest achievements was winning a national poetry competition in 2000 whilst she was still at a primary school.
 
“I am happy to be the 2011 Dux student, as it proves that hard work indeed pays. If you commit yourself to working hard all the time and do lots of studying, then achievements like this will come your way,” she said.
 
Samantha’s immediate plan is to finish her degree and then venture into studying for an honours degree in entomology. “I would like to do my bit in the academic world. That’s where I think my future lies,” she concluded.
 
Samantha also received the award for the best-performing second-year student in the Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Sciences.

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