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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

Great is what the UFS is and should be
2013-02-15

Photo: Johan Roux
09 February 2013

 

   YouTube Video - UFS Official Opening
   YouTube Video - Staff share their hopes and expectations for 2013

This passage from the book Good to Great by Jim Collis was the core message of Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS) at the official opening on Friday 8 February 2013.

Prof. Jansen warned the audience in a packed hall of the reasons why the UFS should not be good, but great.

“Good makes one become complacent. Good means you show up for class, but great means you are at the top of you class. Good means you simply do your work, but great means you’re the best amongst your peers. Good is ok, but great is what the UFS is and should be about,” Prof. Jansen said.

At the opening Prof. Jansen also highlighted a seven-point priority plan for the university in 2013.

These points are:

  • The growth in numbers and quality of postgraduate students
  • The planned westward expansion of the main campus (New Master Plan)
  • The drive for quality and productivity in research
  • The development of an advancement culture throughout the university
  • The acceleration of diversity and equity in all aspects of campus life, but especially in academic appointments
  • The building of a positive and supporting staff culture at the university
  • The continued investment in undergraduate student leadership

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