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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

University hosts Mandela Rhodes scholars
2012-10-02

Kovsie Dux student and SRC member Tumelo Moreri (centre), with Danielle Bowler and Unnel-Teddy Ngoumandjoka, two of the Mandela Rhodes Scholars who attended a summit for past and current recipients of the prestigious bursary on the Bloemfontein Campus.
1 October 2012
Photo: Johan Roux

Some of Africa’s top young minds gathered at the University of the Free State to discuss new ways of thinking about education on the continent.

About 50 current and past recipients of the prestigious Mandela Rhodes Scholarship from across the continent gathered on the Bloemfontein Campus to attend the Community of Mandela Rhodes Scholars Summit from 29 September to 1 October 2012. The theme for the summit was Re-Imagining Education in Africa and recipients from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda attended.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university, addressed the Mandela Rhodes scholars and told them as Africa’s next generation of leaders they have to be courageous, caring and agents of change. “You cannot re-imagine education unless you have imaginative leaders”, he told them. Referring to leaders like Martin Luther King, Chief Albert Luthuli, Ghandi and Nelson Mandela, Prof. Jansen told them in order to lead, they should have the capacity for caring, contemplation, courage, change,contrition,conciliation and clarity.

Mandela Rhodes Scholar and Convener of the Summit, Andrew Gasnolar, said the insights gained will be utilised by recipients in their spaces. "A consistent element which cropped up was that our privilege requires us to do the right thing. Active citizenry is required in which we all actively take a part in the education situation - from adopting a student to adopting a school to taking up teaching."

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