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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

Elzmarie honoured internationally for economics education
2012-10-13

Elzmarie Oosthuizen (middle) with Prof. John Brock of Colorado University in Colorado Springs and Prof. Claudia Parliament of Minnesota University.
12 October 2012

An exceptional honour has been bestowed on Elzmarie Oosthuizen of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences with the awarding of the Patricia K. Elder International Award to her in America at the beginning of October 2012.

The award is made by the National Association of Economics Educators and the Council for Economics Education (CEE). It gives recognition to individuals whose outstanding and committed service makes a meaningful impact on the delivery of economics education worldwide. The award was made to her at the 51th annual Financial Literacy and Economics Education Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Elzmarie is Manager: Teaching and Learning in the Faculty. She was originally appointed to manage various projects to better prepare students for what is expected of them.  She teaches in the extended programme and achieved success with bridging mathematics and the changing methodologies that she uses.

She plays an active role in international economics education programming. Elzmarie was an essential element in the development of CEE’s programmes in South Africa and has now moved to expand economics education programmes to Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana. 

She successfully participated in the CEE’s Train the Writers programme and lobbied the CEE to provide a mentoring programme that would prepare participants to offer a training of writers programme within their own country. This year, she presented the first writers programme for South African teachers.

Claudia Parliament, Director of the Minnesota Council on Economics Education, said in her recommendation for the award:  “Elzmarie is a change agent.  She has boundless energy.  Few can keep up with her work pace.  She has put economics education on the map in South Africa and she is poised to have a similar impact in other countries in southern Africa.”

Elzmarie says: “I feel very honoured to have received this award.” Since 2004, she has worked very hard and trained some 800 teachers. In 2011, some 200 000 children were reached through the training.

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