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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

Fresh new look for UFS Sasol Library
2013-02-28

The revamped entrance area of the UFS Sasol Library.
14 March 2013
Photo: Johan Roux
The UFS Sasol Library on the Bloemfontein Campus has been given a new lease on life with a fresh new look to cater for the changing study needs of students. Over the last few months several upgrades have been made to ensure that students get an effective learning experience.

These upgrades will be spread over three phases. Upgrades include newly-built overnight study facilities, partitioned study areas for postgraduate students and areas for leisure reading. Special attention has also been given to security, with the access control system and the tattle-tape security system being moved to the foyer on Level 2. This level, which used to serve only as a thoroughfare to and from the eastern and western parts of the library, has been turned into proper foyers on either side.

"The UFS Library and Information Services are on a mission to present itself as the physical and virtual information hub of choice," says Director Betsy Eister.  "The increased intake of new students and technological developments has sparked the notion of new and revamped study spaces conducive to learning.”

Eister says that, after completion of all three phases, the library will have increased study spaces that appeal to different people with different needs – spaces for studying, leisure reading, newspaper reading, accessing wired and wireless connections and spaces for discussions.

The project which started in October 2012 is part of the university's space planning projects to optimally utilise space on the Bloemfontein Campus. The project will also see the Centre for Teaching and Learning move to level three of the library.

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