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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

University grooms future leaders
2013-02-28

Nangamso Koza, volunteers and learners who participated in the RCL training programme.
Photo: Linda Fekisi
28 February 2013

The UFS recently hosted a group of Representative Council of Learners (RCL) from 24 high schools in the Free State. The learners participated in a RCL training programme, the first of its kind, which will take place on a quarterly basis.

The learners were welcomed by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university. Prof Jansen emphasised the need for academic excellence in his welcoming speech, telling learners not to settle for a pass rate of 30%. He motivated them to study hard in order to reap rewards, regardless of their disadvantaged backgrounds. He told them about first-year student, Zandile Kwela and others, who excelled in the 2012 matric exams despite disadvantaged backgrounds.

Nangamso Koza, Research Assistant in the office of the Vice-Rector: External Relations, who helped to coordinate the programme, said leadership development is vital, as early as the basic education phase. “The objective was to offer the RCL some of the skills and knowledge we have, to enable them to dream out of the box."

Mr Pura Mgolombane, Assistant-Dean of Student Affairs, shared what student leadership is all about, the values that a leader needs to have and the relevant constitutional documentation and acts they need to know.

Madineo Mofokeng, an RCL member from Excelsior Combined School, describes her experience as a great one. “I learnt many things that will help me improve my school. I also learnt that by believing in yourself, you can do anything you put your mind to,” she added.


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