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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

UFS athlete on her way to Athletics World Championships in France
2013-06-18

Louzanne Coetzee (left) and her guide, Rouxné Vermaak, in action during a 10km road race a few months ago in Bloemfontein.
Photo: Johan Roux
18 June 2013

A student from the University of the Free State (UFS) is part of a team of 32 athletes to represent South Africa at the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Athletics World Championships in France later this year.

Louzanne Coetzee, a second-year BA Corporate and Marketing Communication student, was selected to represent the national team in the 800-metre race at the championships that will be held in the city of Lyon from 19 to 28 July 2013. The visually-impaired student will participate in the T11 sport class for runners that make use of a guide and have to wear a blindfold during the race. This will be Louzanne’s first international competition. Approximately 1 300 athletes from 90 countries are expected to participate in the championships.

Louzanne boasts a best time of 2 minutes and 53.8 seconds in the 800 metre, a time she reached earlier this year at the Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled in Pretoria. At this meeting she won three gold medals in the 800, 1 500 and 5 000 metres.

Louzanne says she will work hard to bring back medals. "I’m not all that experienced, but I will give my best and trust in the Lord. I will work hard to do something for my country."

She and the rest of the 31 athletes will be accompanied by four coaches, a team manager and an assistant manager.

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