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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

UFS hosts Commonwealth universities
2005-08-25

The University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein will host delegates from 14 universities across the Commonwealth next week as part of a programme to measure and promote excellence in university management.

The workshop will be held from Monday, 29 August to Wednesday, 31 August 2005 as part of the Commonwealth University Management Benchmarking Programme, run by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

It is the first time that the UFS will host the workshop and the second time that it is held in South Africa. 

“The purpose of the programme is to promote and measure excellence in university management.  Unlike other university benchmarking programmes that focus on matters such as research output, the programme run by the ACU follows a process benchmarking approach and aims to identify and promote best practice and quality assurance,” said Prof Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS.

According to Prof Fourie the programme runs on an annual basis and works on a quality improvement cycle.  Every year certain areas of university management are evaluated by a panel of international assessors.  This year it focuses on strategic planning, recruitment and retention of staff, and branding. 
If weaknesses are identified, plans are compiled which should result in  an upward spiral of continued quality improvement.

“The UFS has been taking part in the programme for the past five years.  Last year we fared particularly well with the evaluation of our change management and engagement with the community,” said Prof Fourie. 

“The ACU benchmarking programme is a useful forum in which we can measure ourselves against  our peers.  It will also help us to prepare for the audit of the effectiveness of our quality assurance policies and systems, which will be conducted in October 2006 by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council for Higher Education (CHE),” said Prof Fourie.

Other universities that will take part in the workshop include the Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Glamorgan in the United Kingdom, the University of Northern British Columbia in Canada, the Central Queensland University, the Monash University in Australia, and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).


Media release
Issued by:  Lacea Loader
   Media Representative
   Tel:  (051) 401-2584
   Cell:  083 645 2454
   E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
25 August 2005
 

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