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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

Student one of ten Google Young Minds
2012-04-23

 

Sibusiso Tshabalala is making strides as an international young leader.
23 April 2012

Third-year B.Com Law student, Sibusiso Tshabalala from our university, is one of ten of Google’s Young Minds for 2012. He made it to the top thirty from a pool of 1 700 applicants at the beginning of April 2012.

“The standard of other competitors and the panel of judges were extremely high. I was excited to receive the news that I had made it,” he says.

Annually, Google searches for ten students internationally who demonstrate strong leadership capabilities. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is given to students who also have an entrepreneurial drive and a commitment to social activism. Sibusiso was selected for his involvement in renovating libraries and training budding public speakers. His projects also involve encouraging literacy and critical thinking in poor areas in the Free State by establishing reading clubs.

Sibusiso will be attending the Google Zeitgeist in London from 20 to 22 May 2012.

At the conference, he will have the opportunity to meet some of the world’s greatest minds. Over 400 influential business leaders and visionaries from around the world will be hosted. Speakers include Prof. Stephen Hawking, former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics: University of Cambridge; Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group; Eric Schmidt, Chairman: Google; Larry Page, CEO: Google; Angela Ahrendts, CEO: Burberry, and international musician will.i.am.

The ten winners will also take part in a series of ‘master classes’ with the aim of mentoring them to help further their future projects.

His achievements include the 2010 winner of the National SAGE Competition (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship). He represented South Africa in Brazil that same year and was also National Winner of the Best Speaker Award at the 2011 South African National Universities Debating Championships. He was ranked as one of the top ten debaters in Africa at the Pan African Universities Debating Championships held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 2011. Sibusiso recently chaired the committee that organised the first university based CANSA Relay for Life Event in South Africa. This took place at the UFS in February 2012.

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