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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

Ex-Kovsie swimming legend passes away
2013-04-03

03 April 2013

The University of the Free State (UFS) expresses its condolences to the friends and family of former Kovsie and swimming legend, Dr Karen Muir. Dr Muir passed away on 2 April 2013 in Mossel Bay, after battling cancer for a number of years.

Dr Muir enrolled at the UFS in 1971 and completed her MB ChB in 1977. Despite her academic prowess, it was in the swimming pool that Dr Muir achieved even greater acclaim.

Dr Muir was the youngest person ever to hold a world record in swimming or any other international sporting discipline. As a twelve-year old in 1965, she beat the then record time in the 110-m backstroke. After her initial success, she went on to set fifteen more world records in a variety of swim strokes.

During her career she won 22 South African Championships, three United States National Championships and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1980.

After matriculating in 1970 from Diamantveld High in Kimberley, she retired from swimming to focus full-time on her medical studies. Since then she practised as a physician in Africa and from 2000 onward, in Canada, after relocating.

“We as a faculty mourn her passing and extend our deepest sympathy to her loved ones, family and friends,” said Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

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