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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

Postgraduate success rewarded during winter graduation ceremony
2012-06-06

The university is celebrating an increase in postgraduate success with a record number of master’s degrees and doctorates to be awarded during the winter graduation ceremony on 14 June 2012.

A total of 481 master’s degrees and 82 doctorates will be awarded in two ceremonies in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus. This is the most postgraduate qualifications to be awarded at a single graduation ceremony. 

The university will also award an honorary doctorate in Literature to the author, Etienne van Heerden. Van Heerden, the author of Dertig Nagte in Amsterdam and Toorberg, among others, will be honoured with a D. Litt degree. Van Heerden, currently Hofmeyr professor and Head of the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch studies at the University of Cape Town, is one of the most acclaimed Afrikaans writers. His novels have been translated into eleven languages and his contributions are included in anthologies worldwide. One of his most important contributions to South African society is his creation of LitNet and the development of this powerful digital website that now also includes two accredited journals.

Ms Nicky Abdinor, a clinical psychologist of Cape Town, who was born without arms and with shortened legs, will be the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony.

The programme for the two ceremonies is: 

  • At 10:15, the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences will award 231 master’s degrees and confer 43 doctorates. The Faculty of Health Sciences will award 52 master’s degrees and confer seven doctorates. 
  • At 14:15, the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will award 62 master’s degrees and confer seven doctorates. The Faculty of the Humanities will confer one honorary doctorate, award 47 master’s degrees and confer 13 doctorates. In the Faculty of Education, 22 master’s degrees will be awarded and nine doctorates conferred. In the Faculty of Law, 34 master’s degrees will be awarded and one doctorate conferred. The Faculty of Theology will award 33 master’s degrees, and confer two doctorates.
     

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