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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

UFS appoints Director: KovsieRugby
2012-10-16

Michael Horak.
Photo: Johan Roux
16 October 2012

Mr Michael Horak has been appointed for a three year term by the UFS as Director: KovsieRugby. He began working at the university on 1 October 2012.

Mr Horak’s involvement in and experience of Super Rugby coaching, his working relationship with the Free State Rugby Union, his understanding of coaching structures and systems, as well as his knowledge of Kovsie players and present structures made him the obvious choice. He is also well positioned to see to it that the Shimlas are prepared for the next Varsity Cup tournament, which begins in February 2013.

His career includes the position of General Manager of the Cheetahs and Rugby Affairs at the Free State Rugby Union, a defence coach in Super Rugby, as well as senior Currie Cup teams and a rugby consultant for Grey College and Windhoek Gymnasium.

Some of his responsibilities as Director of KovsieRugby include the coaching of the Shimlas (head coach); the planning, development, management and implementation of a coordinated coaching and rugby programme throughout all sections of the UFS Rugby club; the development and implementation of innovative coaching techniques and methods in regards to players; as well as the development and implementation of a medium and long term strategy for the recruitment and retention of players that will be approved by the university to make success possible.

On his vision for rugby at the UFS, Mr Horak says: “It is a great privilege for me to be involved with KovsieRugby. Good work was done by Mr Jaco Swanepoel that I would like to take further to give players the best chance to be successful. Winning is what it is about and I am really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead for all of us. My coaching team of Quintin Kruger, Hendro Scholtz and Barry Goodes is incredibly motivated to serve Shimlas rugby and to achieve success. We hope that everybody will support us and we are looking forward to seeing everybody at Shimla Park when the Shimlas win!”

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