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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

Two academics will be sorely missed
2013-04-02

  

Prof Andrew Marston and Prof Bannie Britz
Photo: Supplied
02 April 2013

The staff and students of the University of the Free State (UFS) are deeply saddened by the recent passing in Bloemfontein of two of the university’s most esteemed and renowned academics, Prof Bannie Britz and Prof Andrew Marston.

Prof Britz was the Head of the Department of Architecture from 1992 to 2000. He was renowned in his field, winning numerous prizes for Architecture, including the Gold Medal for Architecture from the South African Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“As professional architect and urban designer, Prof Britz was a much awarded architect who received numerous award of merit from the South African Institute of Architects for buildings erected in South Africa over the years,” said Martie Bitzer, Head of the Department of Architecture.

Apart from his acclaim elsewhere, Prof Britz also played a major role in the day-to-day activities of university’s staff and students. He was responsible for the design of the many walkways on campus and the refurbishment of the Main Building on the Bloemfontein Campus. For the many contributions in his field, Prof Britz was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the UFS in 2007.

Prof Andrew Marston, a specialist in natural product chemistry and methods associated with the isolation and analysis of medically important chemicals from plants, was appointed from Geneva, Switzerland in 2009 under the UFS Strategic Cluster for Advanced Biomolecular Research.

He obtained a B-rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF) in 2011, and was consequently appointed as a senior professor in die UFS Senior Professor Programme. “He has made valuable contributions to the UFS in terms of teaching and postgraduate supervision, as well as research. In his short stay at the UFS, he already co-authored more than ten papers in international chemistry literature,” said Prof André Roodt, Head of the Department of Chemistry.

His research group was part of a multilateral agreement in the European Union (EU) with a number of African and three European universities. He obtained new research funding from the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU for the Building Sustainable Research Capacity on Plants for Better Public Health in Africa project, from the Norwegian Research Council for bioprospecting and the isolation and structure determination of compounds from plants and algae, and from the South African Rooibos Tea Council.

The memorial service for Prof Britz took place on Friday 5 April 2013 in the Berg-en-Dal Dutch Reformed Church in Bloemfontein. The service for Prof Marston took place in the Trinity Church, Charles Street, Bloemfontein.

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