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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

Limpopo government department receives Sign Language qualification


At the certificate ceremony were, from the left: Wisani Mashamba, Deputy Manager: Human Resources and Development in the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in Limpopo; Dr Philemon Akach, Head of the Department of South African Sign Language; Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic; and Ms Fhumulani Maguga, Senior Manager: Human Resources and Development in the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in Limpopo.
Photo: Stephen Collett
25 April 2012

Certificates were awarded to a group of staff members from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in Limpopo who successfully completed a short course in South African Sign Language at the University of the Free State (UFS). Fourteen staff members from this department received their certificates at a ceremony on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic, said the UFS was the first tertiary institution in the country, and in Africa, to present Sign Language as an academic course. Prof. Hay urged the 14 men and women who received their certificates to use the qualification to make a difference in the lives of others.

Dr Philemon Akach, Head of the Department of South African Sign Language, mentioned the difficulties that deaf people still have to cope with. “Poverty and neglect is rife. In this country you have to toyi-toyi to be heard. If deaf people toyi-toyi, will they be heard?”

Ms Fhumulani Maguga, Senior Manager: Human Resources and Development in the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in Limpopo, said her department is looking into future partnerships with the UFS.

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