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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

Kovsie students bring warmth to the Bloemfontein community
2013-06-01

 

Michael van Niekerk and Melissa Lucas, prime of Akasia, making up the packages.
Photo: Linda Fekisi
14 June 2013

It goes without saying that winter in Bloemfontein is scarcely pleasant, especially if you do not have the proper clothing. Members of the Kovsie community have taken a step towards giving a helping hand to those in need. Share the Warmth Winter wonder box is a project that was launched by the SRC City Residences and Commuter students to help keep the cold away. Students and staff of the University of the Free State (UFS) donate a package which includes a blanket, beanie, gloves, socks and sweets, to be handed out to the children in need.

Share the Warmth Winter is the brainchild of Michael van Niekerk who is the SRC member in charge of the portfolio. He received the idea for such a project from an initiative he is a part of at Mooiplaas Township. “People make shoeboxes with presents inside for children and hand them out during Christmas. I thought it would be a great idea to share the warmth in winter, especially in the freezing Free State,” he said.

The team managed to collect more than 100 items in just a few weeks. The distribution of the boxes will take place around the Bloemfontein area. Teams will visit shelters, while others will hand out the boxes directly to children in places like Heidedal and downtown.

“I am very delighted by the response and think that this is something that needs to grow bigger and bigger to include the entire Bloemfontein every winter,” said Michael when asked if it is a once-off project. People who would like to bring warmth to the little ones, can still send boxes or packages to the SRC Building or send an email to vanniekerkm@ufs.ac.za for more information.

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