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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

Judge Ian van der Merwe unanimously re-elected as Chairperson of the UFS Council
2012-11-29

 
Judge Ian van der Merwe
Photo: Rian Horn
29 November 2012

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously re-elected Judge Ian van der Merwe as its Chairperson for the next three years at its last meeting for this year on Friday, 16 November 2012.

Judge Van der Merwe is a Judge of the Free State High Court. He is an alumnus of the UFS and has been a member of the Council since 9 March 2007.

In accepting his appointment, Judge Van der Merwe said that he was honoured and humbled to lead a Council of this calibre for a second term. “The Council is setting a good example of what good governance at a higher education institution should look like. Meetings are conducted in good spirit and decisions made in the best interest of the university,” he said.

“Having sat on councils of many universities before, I can say with great surety that, on balance of expertise and backgrounds, the UFS has one of the most effective councils in the country and, to have a Chairperson of Judge Van der Merwe’s stature, is a privilege. His leadership and guidance is greatly appreciated,” said Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector.

Mr Edward Kieswetter, Group CEO and Executive Director of Alexander Forbes and Deputy Chairperson of the UFS Council, and Mr Jonathan Crowther (former editor of Volksblad) have been re-elected for a further term of four years in the category: "Appointed by the Council".

External Council members were given a tour of the Bloemfontein Campus after the meeting, followed by an induction session for new council members.

New Council members who joined this year are: 

Derek Foster, in the category appointed by the Council
Ruben Gouws, elected by the non-academic staff
Lorraine Kriek, elected by the Alumni
Themba Mmabi, representative of the Minister of Higher
Education and Training
Sabelo Khumalo, SRC President, Qwaqwa Campus
William Clayton, SRC President, Bloemfontein Campus
Suraya Jawodeen, representative of the Minister of Higher
Education and Training
Mr Dan Mosia, representative of the Minister of Higher Education and Training
 

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