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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

Second group joins Prestige Scholars Programme
2013-02-22

 

Some of the new scholars in the programme are seen here with Prof Jackie du Toit. From the left are: Drs Gladys Kigozi (Centre For Health Systems Research & Development), Brian van Soelen (Physics), Charles Haddad (Zoology and Entomology), Prof Du Toit and Tanya Beelders (Computer Science and Informatics).
Photo: Johan Roux
22 February 2013


A second group of 15 young academics is selected to be part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme (PSP). The first group of 25 scholars joined the programme in 2011 and some of them were placed at partner universities abroad during 2012.

The programme identifies and promotes promising young academics in the university towards becoming full professors with superior research accomplishments.

Prof Jackie du Toit, Academic Co-director of PSP, says: “This highly prestigious cross-disciplinary programme for the next generation of UFS professors in the last two years produced Fulbright scholars; NRF Y1-rated young scholars; NRF Blue Skies and Thuthuka recipients and several National Research Foundation Y2 ratings.

“Scholars on the programme have created partnerships at leading universities in Japan, Europe, the UK and the USA. Within the South African academy, the PSP is a novel approach to the advancement of scholarship and the development of professional scholars. It contributes towards positioning the UFS as an innovator among research universities in this country.”

“This fast-tracking of the next generation of professors involves an intense mentorship programme at the UFS and an international placement with a leading scholar in a top university.”

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