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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

Statement from Prof Jonathan Jansen regarding a misquote about Madiba
2013-04-10

08 April 2013

Comments made by learners who attended the Leadership Summit (pdf)

Prof Jonathan Jansen: Presentation about Great Leaders (pdf)

The news article that first appeared in Volksblad of Monday 8 April 2013 claiming that I wanted Madiba to die, refers.

This is a complete misrepresentation of what I said. My argument was that Madiba had done so much for South Africa, that he had served South Africa well, and that sometimes you just wish that people would leave him alone so that he can pass his final days quietly.

Like all South Africans, I want Madiba to live as long as possible, but without the constant glare and speculation of the media and others. He needs to be left alone to rest and die in peace. That was the content and context of what I said.

To misrepresent a lengthy statement on a talk which was entirely devoted to extolling Madiba’s leadership — alongside that of Luthuli, Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr (this was the main photograph on the screen) — is mischievous. The seven characteristics of leadership of Mandela, and the other three, were what the one hour and ten minute talk was about — something completely ignored in the misrepresentation.

It is true that I depicted the crises from Marikana to the Catholic Church as crises of leadership and not primarily military or religious blunders.

It is also true that I argued that the official representation of the hospital visits as ‘routine checkups’ was inaccurate for aged people, since at the age of 94 no hospital visit is ‘routine.’ That is what I said.

- Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, University of the Free State

Media Release
08 April 2013
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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