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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

Library opens new horizons for Bloemfontein-Oos School
2012-11-27

Storyteller Gcina Mhlophe is hugging a learner at the Bloemfontein-Oos Intermediary School.
Photo: Kaleidoscope Photography
27 November 2012

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Dr Seuss says that in his book I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!

It is hoped that this will also be the experience of learners at the Bloemfontein-Oos Intermediary School where a library has been stocked and unveiled with our assistance. Bloemfontein-Oos is one of the schools that the UFS renovated in partnership with the Free State Department of Education.

The learners also had the rare opportunity to listen to a doyenne of South African storytellers Gcina Mhlophe. She is one of the best storytellers, writers, publishers, directors and international poet.

Tessa Ndlovo, coordinator of the UFS Schools Partnership Programme, said she thought it was important for the school to have a library in order to cultivate a culture of reading. She asked publishers and libraries to send books and in the process, more than 2 000 books were donated by the UFS-Sasol Library, staff and students. New books were sent by publishing houses.

The office of Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, sponsored the renovation of the library by donating shelves.

Bloemfontein-Oos became the first school in the UFS’s Extreme Makeover intervention. Attention has been given to fencing, electrification, renovation and the bathrooms. Three truckloads of furniture were donated and more will follow in future. The Calculator Project (Project of Peace) was introduced to the school by students from the United States of America.

The library is part of the Culture of Reading Project.

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