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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

Kovsie students receive American Cancer Society Award
2012-08-30

 
Kovsie students during one of their purple cake sales
30 August 2012

South Africa’s first student-driven CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) Relay for Live, organised by students from the University of the Free State, has received an International Award from the American Cancer Society.

Showing solidarity with survivors of cancer, those who have battled and lost loved ones to the disease, the Kovsie students were rewarded with the society’s 2011/2012 Heart of Relay Award for youth involvement. The award was handed out at a ceremony in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape.

The Relay for Life is a global initiative that has been running for 26 years. It is an overnight relay event where teams of people camp out around a track. Members of each team take turns walking and running around the track. They also participate in a Luminaria ceremony where loved ones lost to cancer are remembered.

Relay for Life events are held for the general public as well as tertiary institutions. The Relay for Life event, held on the Bloemfontein Campus at the beginning of the year, was the first student organised one in South Africa.

Leading up to the event, Kovsie students engaged in a number of cancer awareness campaigns. These included purple cake sales and a shava-thon event. All money raised was donated to the Cancer Association of South Africa.

Sibusiso Tshabalala, founding chairperson of the Kovsie initiative, says the students worked with the local chapter of the Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC). “The event was generally learning about cancer, sharing the idea of solidarity and bringing students together.” Sibusiso says a similar project is planned for next year.
 

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