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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

SRC visits the US as part of Global Leadership Preparation Programme
2012-06-07

The Student Representative Councils (SRC) of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses will be travelling to the United States from 10-24 June 2012 on an intensive leadership development programme.

The Global Leadership Preparation Programme, initiated by the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, has been designed to ensure that South Africa’s next generation of leaders understand their unique place in a global context, the interconnectedness of global and local society and various possibilities for change.
 
The group of 36 students will be visiting Washington DC, Boston and New York.
 
“As a university we recognise that students who lead on campus must be prepared to also lead the country, which requires amongst others greater understanding of the impact and influence of global developments (social, economic, political) on nation states and campuses. This includes knowledge to deepen democratic participation and real representation – issues we know that often are contested in important student governance structures such as SRCs,” says Mr Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs.
 
The group will be studying among others the impact, influence and limits of the United Nations in global leadership; the impact of transnational companies on economic policies of African countries; the impact of American universities on African leadership; the impact of international philanthropy on African development and the impact of American public institutions on learning among the disadvantaged: lessons for South Africa.
 
The programme complements and strengthens other leadership preparation programmes of the UFS, such as the Leadership for Change Programme and the Gateway College Programme – an intensive orientation programme for all undergraduate students. It will give students a competitive advantage in leadership over more local programmes and initiatives that seldom look beyond the campus, or even beyond the country, in preparing the next generation of leadership.
 
“We value this initiative by the university leadership to give us the opportunity to explore and spread our wings and gather as much knowledge as we can get to raise the bar in terms of student governance and leadership. The university is amongst the few in the country that sees the need to strengthen and develop its student leadership by exposing it and allowing it to understand its role in a global context. This is a chance that we take seriously and we intend to use it to the betterment of the institution,” says Bongani Ngcanga, President of the Central SRC.
 
“While we welcomed the initiative taken by the university to design this programme, the SRC questioned and debated heavily on the merits and real contribution of such a programme. Only on approval of the academic and development profile of the programme did we accept its merits and now are excited about the value thereof. This opportunity goes beyond the term of the SRC and will develop and equip us for the great positions we will hold in the future. I am looking forward to meeting influential lobbyists, profound academics and strong politicians,” says Richard Chemaly, SRC President of the Bloemfontein Campus.
 
Upon their return, the SRCs will set a new benchmark for future councils, raising the bar to that of internationally acclaimed student leadership. One of the objectives of the programme is to produce written, reflective statements about the learning that resulted from the trip and to start dialogues in order to improve student governance and governance as a whole. Workshops will also be presented for aspirant student leaders on leadership lessons learnt from an international perspective.
 
Members of the SRCs are covering part in the cost of the programme and generous contributions have also been received from outside the university.

Media Release
07 June 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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