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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

Report card outlines major achievements
2005-02-04

Staff at the University of the Free State (UFS) have received above-inflation increases in remuneration averaging 18,2 percent since the year 2000, according to the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Frederick Fourie.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Official Opening of the UFS today, Prof Fourie gave a report card for the UFS which he said indicated significant progress in salaries and promotions as well as capital expenditure and infrastructure development on the campus.

“The aggregate extra earnings of staff (money in their pockets above inflation) from 2000 to 2005 amount to R75 million in salaries. This is the result of the hard work of all staff and we pay tribute to them,” he said.

Prof Fourie said that several categories of staff are better off than before the financial turn-around strategy was implemented in 2000 which aimed to make the UFS a financially sustainable campus.

The lowest paid workers and professors had received an additional structural correction, which gave professors at the UFS a 27% above-inflation increase (on total remuneration package) since 2000.

He said there had also been a dramatic increase in promotions to associate professor and full professor during the last 6 years.

From 1999 to December 2001, there were only 9 promotions to associate professor. From January 2002 to January 2005, there were 37 such promotions to associate professor, four times as many.

Regarding promotions to full professor, from 1999 to December 2001 there were 7 promotions. From January 2002 to January 2005, there were 31 promotions to full professor, more than four times as many.

“We have also created a new category of senior professor to give due recognition to the outstanding work of our leading academics in many fields,” Prof Fourie said.

The UFS has introduced numerous new and innovative learning programmes, together with an increasing number of community service modules which enhanced the UFS as a leader in service learning and helped to make it a university engaged with its surrounding community.

According to Prof Fourie the number of support staff had also grown along with the professionalisation of the support services.

He said management was aware that there still several challenges regarding staff overload and staff development but that these were being addressed

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za

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