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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

Stanford University Talisman group blows Qwaqwa Campus away
2013-03-28

 

'Angelic'. That is how some students described Talisman's rendition of well-known South African hymns and classics.
Photo: Thabo Kessah
28 March 2013


The UFS Qwaqwa Gospel Choir hosted a concert and shared the stage with the Stanford Talisman, a unique group of students from Stanford University in the USA, who sing a wide repertoire of genres, which include indigenous South African songs. According to their website, ‘Talisman was created to explore and perform substantive, cultural music’ and this is some of the music they brought to the Qwaqwa Campus.

“This unique pre-Easter concert brought all of us together through music which knows no boundaries,” said Sipho Mnyakeni, who heads Residence Life on the Qwaqwa Campus.

The Stanford Talisman choir left crowds in awe and disbelief with their rendition of indigenous Sesotho, IsiZulu and IsiXhosa hymns. Some of the songs were well-known classics composed and previously performed by the likes of Hugh Masekela and the late Miriam Makeba. One song that blew the audience away, was the well-known South African struggle song 'Asimbonanga' by Johnny Glegg, which was a tribute to the then incarcerated Nelson Mandela.

The groups were supported by Hlanganani, an IsiZulu traditional music student ensemble, and the poet, Black Butterfly.

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