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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

Kovsies produces another Mandela Rhodes Scholar
2012-10-25

Joanie van der Merwe
Photo: Supplied

25 October 2012

Another Kovsie student has been awarded the prestigious Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. Joanie van der Merwe, a B.A. Honours Communication Science student, has been selected as one of 29 students from across the continent to receive the scholarship for 2013. The scholarship is awarded to young Africans who demonstrate academic and leadership potential.

This is the second successive year that the university has produced a Mandela Rhodes Scholar. Kovsie student Jaco Griessel was one of 23 students who received the bursary in 2011 for studies this year.

Joanie, who also holds a BA Honours Psychology degree, will study for her Master’s degree in Media Theory and Practice at the University of Cape Town next year. During the scholarship, she will be granted access to leadership development programmes. The scholarship covers study and registration costs, study material, accommodation and a living allowance.

Joanie says family urged her to apply for the scholarship. “After coming to terms with what the scholarship entails, I realised that I identify with the values and characteristics to which Mandela Rhodes scholars aspire.”

“I have a dream of forming an integral part of the continent in such a way that I will be able to serve others and empower the community where it is needed most. I want to live in such a way that my trials and mistakes are not wasted. They should be learnt from and be used to inspire and encourage others.”

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