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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

International conference on breaking cycles of the past in societies affected by historical trauma presented from 5-8 December 2012
2012-11-28

Marguerite Barankitse from Burundi
28 November 2012

An interdisciplinary group of scholars, experts and practitioners from 24 countries around the world will gather at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein from 5 - 8 December 2012 for a conference on “Engaging the Other: Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Repetition.”

The conference intends to open new avenues of inquiry into the trans-generational effects of trauma on communities that have experienced extreme violence.

One of the highlights of the conference is a presentation by Marguerite Barankitse, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, on Thursday 6 December 2012. Marguerite has received several awards and distinctions for her work aimed at transforming the lives of Hutu and Tutsi children affected by war. Among these are the highly prestigious humanitarian prize, the Opus Prize, the UNESCO Prize, and the World's Children's Prize, also known as the ‘Nobel Prize’ for humanitarian work aimed at improving the lives of children and their chances of a better future.

On Saturday 8 December 2012 Prof. Martha Nussbaum, one of the world’s foremost philosophers, will deliver a keynote address on “Reconciliation: The political role of the Arts.” Prof. Nussbaum will receive a D.Litt. degree in the Faculty of Humanities from the UFS on 6 December 2012.

Other guests include Michael Lapsley, survivor of an apartheid bombing, Kimberlyn Leary, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School,  Dr Jean Decety, Irving B. Harris Professor at the University of Chicago and Dr Katerina Fotopoulou from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University College in London.

One of the conference events entitled “South Africans speak about the crisis of moral leadership: A public dialogue” will be open to the public and presented in the Centenary Complex on Friday 7 December 2012 from 18:00-19:30. Participants in the public dialogue include some of South Africa’s most thoughtful social commentators and a community activist: Barney Pityana (Professor and Rector, College of Transfiguration); Prince Mashele (Director: Centre for Politics and Research); Pierre de Vos (Professor of Law, University of Cape Town); and Faeza Meyer (Chairperson: Tafelsig Residents Unite).

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