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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

Central SRC constitution for UFS approved by Council
2005-07-20

University of the Free State Fact Sheet

1. The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) on 10 June 2005 unanimously approved the establishment of a Central Student Representative Council (CSRC)  to constitute a legitimate basis for the democratic participation of students of all three of its campuses in the governance of the university.

2. In a major breakthrough and transformation step for student governance, the Central SRC will include representatives of the main campus in Bloemfontein, the Vista Bloemfontein campus and the Qwaqwa campus of the UFS.

3. The need to establish the Central SRC follows the incorporation of the Qwaqwa campus into the UFS in January 2003 and the incorporation of the Vista campus in Bloemfontein into the UFS in January 2004.

4. The constitution of the Central SRC is the outcome of a consensus reached during a lengthy process of negotiation between the SRCs of the three UFS campuses, indirectly involving diverse student formations such as Sasco, ANCYL, YCL, Pasma, SASO, SADESMO, AZASCO, SCO, HEREXVII, KovsieAlliance, ACDP, etc. Independent constitutional and political experts facilitated key parts of the negotiation process.

5. In this process, the UFS management went out of its way to ensure the participation of all student formations, especially Sasco and the ANC Youth League, as well as the duly elected SRC officials of the three campuses.

6. With the establishment of a Central SRC, the UFS has adopted a federal student governance model whereby the CSRC is the highest representative student body on matters of common concern for all students. The three campuses of the UFS will retain SRC structures for each campus with powers and responsibilities for matters affecting the particular campus.

7. The central SRC will have 12 members made up of delegates of the different campus SRCs, including the presidents of these three SRCs. In total, the main campus will have 5 representatives, the Qwaqwa campus will have 4 representatives and the Vista campus will have 3 representatives. This ratio ensures a strong voice for the smaller campuses in the central SRC.

8. This arrangement will be reviewed after a year to make allowance for the phasing out of undergraduate (pipeline) students at the Vista campus, as was agreed in the negotiations preceding the incorporation of that campus into the UFS.

9. From these 12 members a central SRC president will be chosen on a quarterly basis to represent the general student body at Executive Management, Senate and Council.

10. The historic official inauguration of the first Central SRC is scheduled to take place in early August 2005.

11. This event, like the adoption of a broadly negotiated new constitution for the main campus SRC, represents a  breakthrough in that all three campus SRCs delegations and all relevant student organizations have been part of the process and have accepted the outcome of the process.

20 July 2005

 

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