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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

Community workers, activists and scholars to discuss Gender-based violence
2012-10-03

The Gender Studies Programme and Gender Initiative attached to the Dialogue between Science and Society Series at the University of the Free State is holding a one-day symposium titled African Gender Perspectives on 23 October 2012. Activists, scholars and community-based workers will speak at the symposium about their work in the field of gender and gender-based violence.

Keynote speakers include Cheryl Potgieter (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Bette Dickerson (American University, Washington, D.C) and Jennifer Fish (Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia). Dickerson and Fish will be speaking about their participatory action research with the group Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids (GAPPA) who are based in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Fish will also talk about her experience of setting up a gender centre in Rwanda.

The women’s support network Sisters for Sisters from Woodstock, Cape Town will give a presentation on their community work with women from various parts of the African continent that have experienced multiple forms of gender-based violence, and they will expand on their experiences of participating in an academic research project.

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