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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

Kovsies salute its Guinness World Record Holder
2012-02-03

 

Volksblad journalist Christal-Liza Thomas interviewed Hermann van Heerden.
Photo: Amanda Tongha


He had to wait three months for the Guinness World Record office to verify his world-record attempt but it is now official. Kovsie-student Hermann van Heerden is a Guinness World Record holder.

On 01 February 2012 the B.Ed. Kovsie student proudly showed his certificate to Prof. Jonathan Jansen and others at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). In October 2011 Hermann, who was born with spina bifida, a developmental congenital disorder, wheeled himself into the record books by holding a stationary wheelie in his wheelchair for 10 hours and 1 second.

He achieved this record as part of celebrations marking a decade of existence for the Unit for Students with Disabilities (USD) at the UFS.

With the support of his fellow Kovsies, Hermann embarked on his record attempt on 11 October last year. He started at 03:15 and held his wheelie until 13:16.

The minimum time set for Hermann to achieve a Guinness World Record was four hours and he bettered this by six hours. During his attempt, the Kovsie student did not have any food or water and was not allowed a bathroom break.

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