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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

Public Protector addresses large audience
2012-04-23

Adv. Madonsela condemns corruption and poor service delivery in South Africa.
20 April 2012

Audio of the lecture


Video of the lecture

Apartheid cannot be blamed for poor service delivery in the country - corruption should shoulder the blame. Eighteen years into democracy, South Africa still has a long way to go before it becomes the society it envisaged for itself.

“We are not there yet,” South Africa’s Public Protector, Adv. Thuli Madonsela, told a packed Wynand Mouton Theatre on the University of the Free State’s Bloemfontein Campus on Tuesday 17 April 2012. She delivered a public lecture on “Academic freedom and corruption in the context of secrecy laws”.

“Are we closer to becoming a society where values such as human dignity are sacrosanct, where freedom for everyone is the order of the day?” Adv. Madonsela asked the audience comprising students, academics and community members. She said corruption is the silent thief that steals the country’s constitutional dream, causing the poor to live undignified lives.

Adv. Madonsela appealed to students and academics to help retrieve the constitutional dream. In encouraging academic discourse on corruption, she said corruption is not only one person’s problem, but that of everybody. She told academics they could help develop the law and so help in the fight against corruption.

Adv. Madonsela, who spent most of Tuesday on the Bloemfontein Campus, met with senior management from the university as well as students earlier.

Her public lecture late on Tuesday afternoon had the Wynand Mouton Theatre bursting at the seams. Some members of the audience sat on the steps inside the theatre to hear the lecture.

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