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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

Lots of inspiration at Autumn Graduation Ceremony
2013-04-18

 

Graduates celebrate the results of years of study at the graduation ceremony on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
17 April 2013

Live streaming of ceremonies available from 16 April - 19 April 2013: http://www.ufs.ac.za/ufslivestreaming/

Joshua Johnson YouTube video

The university’s Autumn Graduation Ceremony got off to a vibrant start with energetic performances and inspiring messages for graduates.

Joshua Johnson, an American student who uses his talent for tap-dancing to fund his tertiary education, mesmerised the audience on the first of the four-day graduation ceremony with his story of hope and perseverance. The student from Penn State University travels five hours by bus to New York every weekend where he tap-dances on the subway trains to earn money for his tuition fees.

Delivering a keynote address, Joshua told graduates that, in order to achieve their goals, they have to understand and work diligently with the 24 hours they get to live daily. “Start with a bang and end with a bang,” he said, encouraging the audience in the nearly-packed Callie Human Centre to join him in a rhythmic tap-dancing beat.

“Don’t follow in the footsteps of someone else. Take the beat of life, but add your rhythm to it," his wise words resonating with the exhilarated graduates.

Joshua will be the guest speaker at the ceremonies on 16, 17 and 19 April 2013 and will deliver a dance item during each occasion.

Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the University, echoed Joshua‘s message, telling graduates not to be discouraged by life’s difficulties.

“Take what you have learned over the last three or four years and use that knowledge to reach your goal,” he advised.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, encouraged them to continue to study. “To break the cycle of poverty, get an education, get a degree.” He told them that as graduates they are ten times more likely to get a job, with the odds rising as they continue their postgraduate studies.

Well-known radio host and Idols South Africa judge, Gareth Cliff, will be the guest speaker at two ceremonies on 18 April 2013. He will be joined by Vicus Visser, the South African YouTube singing sensation. Dubbed Bloemfontein’s Justin Bieber, Vicus and his brother Vincent will perform during these two ceremonies.

The programme for the respective ceremonies is:

Wednesday 17 April

09:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Education.
14:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law and Theology.

Thursday 18 April

09:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: only Agricultural Sciences and Architecture.
14:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: only Natural Sciences.

Friday 19 April

09:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: all diplomas and degrees in the Faculty, except BCom and BComHons.
14:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: only BCom and BComHons.

The Qwaqwa Campus’ graduation ceremony will take place on 8 June 2013. Diplomas/certificates up to and including doctorates will be awarded at this ceremony.

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