Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Eusebius McKaiser talks about the magic of books
2013-03-19

 

Eusebius McKaiser
Photo: Johan Roux
19 March 2013

If you want to turn around this country in terms of the rot in education, you have to start reading. You have to read for your degree."

This was the message from writer and political analyst, Eusebius McKaiser, at a public lecture hosted by the UFS Library and Information Services to celebrate South African Library Week.

Addressing the audience that consisted mostly of students, McKaiser, author of “A Bantu in my bathroom,” said it is not too late to start reading.

"We claim we are too busy as adults, but what is the opportunity cost of not reading? I think we lose our humanity, our sense of awe in the world around us when we stop reading as adults. Instead of saying we are too busy, we will do well to ask ourselves what is the cost of no longer reading as much as we did when we were children."

Reading from some of his favourite books, McKaiser spoke about writing techniques and the magic of books. He read excerpts from JM Coetzee's book “Disgrace,” which he considers to be the most important South African novel. He also read paragraphs from books by Rian Malan, James Baldwin and K Sello Duiker – calling the latter a genius.

Reflecting on the role of fiction, McKaiser said the genre is misunderstood and not utilised sufficiently by academics. "We see fiction as something restricted to the English Department or literary departments. I think fiction can be used as a tool in many departments in the humanities. It gives more real material for exploring complicated questions in the humanities and thought experiments that resemble life."

McKaiser also discussed the role of librarians and writers, saying writers should write what they like, but should not ignore the context. "As academics, librarians, teachers, we have to write for the context in which we teach. We have to order books for the context in which we are librarians and as academics we must not write textbooks for students who live in New York. We have to write textbooks for students who come from townships.”

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept