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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

Spotlight on Excellence in Teaching and Learning
2012-11-08

 

Dr Lynette van der Merwe and Mr Fred Mudanvanhu
Photo: Stephen Collett
08 November 2012

Dr Lynette van der Merwe from the Department of Basic Medical Sciences was announced as the winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s award for Teaching and Learning 2012. This award celebrates the excellent work done by academics in their classrooms. Mr Fred Mudanvanhu from the Computer Science and Informatics Department was named winner of the Excellence in Teaching and Learning award on the Qwaqwa Campus. They received their awards during the first Excellence in Teaching and Learning Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 29 October to 1 November 2012.

Hosted by the Centre for Teaching and Learning, the week was a showcase of scholarly teaching in various disciplines and innovation in teaching and learning practice. Some of the top academics at the university exhibited and presented their scholarly contributions in the form of presentations, short videos and electronic posters. This celebration of excellent work done by academics started on 24 October 2012, with the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Day on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Dr Francois Strydom, Director for the Centre for Teaching and Learning, said presentations made during Excellence in Teaching and Learning Week, especially those by the candidates for the Vice-Chancellor’s award for Teaching and Learning, demonstrated cutting edge, reflective scholarship.

He said Dr Van der Merwe’s innovative practises in teaching and learning stem from her Ph.D. research on Generation-Y learners and what their specific preferences are within the context of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “She illustrated how important it is for lecturers to reflect on the characteristics of the students that they are teaching to find the optimal balance between face-to-face interaction and the use of technology to engage the current generation.”

Mr Mudanvanhu was singled out for his research that contrasted the impact of different types of combinations of peer facilitated learning with the technology to improve students’ success.

Speaking at the teaching and learning awards function,Prof.Driekie Hay, Vice Rector:Academics, said the celebration of excellence indicates the pursuit towards developing the next generation of teachers, doctors, architects, scientists and researchers, to name a few. “The graduate that we educate today is the next president, the next Nobel prize winner or your grandchildren’s teacher.”
 

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