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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

Prof Hussein Solomon, an expert voice on Islam in Africa
2013-02-25

Prof Hussein Solomon
Photo: Supplied
25 February 2013

Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor in the Department Political Studies and Governance, has been appointed Senior Research Associate of the Israeli think tank Research on Islam and Muslims in Africa (RIMA). 

Prof Solomon will give an expert voice on the topic of Islam in Africa, participating with other researchers in the network on political Islam and terrorism on the African continent. The centre is the only one in the world which solely deals with Islam and Muslims in Africa.

An expert on the topic of Islam on the continent, Prof Solomon says it’s an important focus area given the rise of Al Shabab in Somalia and its terrorist attacks across the world. He further mentions the rise of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other such groups operating in Northern Mali, prompting the recent French intervention, as well as the increasing incidence of terrorism in Nigeria perpetrated by the Islamist Boko Haram.  "If you want to save lives, then you need to understand how such movements originated and how they operate."

The academic says through RIMA and its global network, he will work with other researchers and engage in collaborative research projects on the same issue, allowing for the rapid cross-pollination of ideas. "For the University of the Free State, it once more underscores the fact that, with the information age, you do not have to be in the capital of the country to be globally relevant. Indeed, in recent years the University of the Free State has increasingly been seen as a global actor in the academic arena."

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