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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

Complicity, tragedy and shameful prejudice displayed in exhibition
2013-06-06

 

The history of the persecution of homosexuals during the Nazi era on display.
Photo: Johan Roux
06 June 2013


The exhibition In Whom Can I Still Trust? portrays the history of the persecution of homosexuals during the Nazi era. It cuts even closer to home, as it also explores the protection of sexual minorities in South Africa as well.

Richard Freedman, Director of the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation, was the guest speaker during the opening.

The exhibition is brought to South Africa thanks to the efforts of the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation. The foundation redesigned and developed the exhibition specifically for South Africa. Originally under the curatorship of Dr Klaus Mueller from Berlin, on behalf of IHLIA (Homosexual and Lesbian Archive, Amsterdam), the exhibition highlights the largely-untold history of the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany. Archive photographs, personal testimonies and video clips relate the historical narrative to the prejudices still facing homosexuals today.

Through additional panels, the exhibition aims to focus attention on the protection of sexual minorities in South Africa. The It Gets Better South Africa Project – a collection of videos that discourages homophobic bullying – forms an important part of the exhibition. The interviewees range from struggle hero Ahmed Kathrada and Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to TV personality Joanne Strauss.

In Whom Can I Still Trust? is hosted by the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the UFS in partnership with the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation, the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery and Student Affairs.

Exhibition runs: 6 –14 June 2013
Place: Thakaneng Bridge

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