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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

SRC drawing deeply from the African continent’s well of wisdom
2013-06-01

 

Some of the SRC members who are visiting Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. From left are: Tshepang Lenka, Johan Steyn, Thabiso Molawude, William Clayton, Sibongile Mlotya, Tshepo Moli and Pieter Coetzee.
Photo: Thabo Kessah
14 June 2013

The student representative councils (SRC) from the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses are currently visiting Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya as part of the university’s Global Leadership Programme (GLP). The student leaders left on 9 June 2013 for a two-week trip to these countries, meeting with NGO’s, businesses and political leaders to gain insight and leadership skills. Their trip will also include a visit to the Kigali and the Nyamata Genocide Museums.

The University of the Free State has a long history of mentoring and fostering student leadership through international partnerships.The GLP was established in 2011 by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector. The programme identifies the need for dynamic and innovative leadership in a country faced with many challenges.

During 2011 the SRC had the opportunity to tour the United States, but this year’s aim shifted to partnering with African Institutions. The focus is currently on the African continent and the lessons that can be learned from each of these countries. During the students’ visit to Rwanda – where they will spend six days – they will pay special attention to elements of leadership and reconciliation. This theme ties closely into the process of transformation and reconciliation at the Bloemfontein Campus.

The SRC has a travel-blog where they constantly post information, facts and their experiences during their visit to these African countries. They are set to return on Sunday 23 June 2013.

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