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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

Former architecture student takes part in Archiprix in Moscow
2013-06-24

Jurie Swart in Moscow.
24 June 2013

 

“I am proud that I could honour the UFS’ name,” says Jurie Swart. He participated in the prestigious Archiprix in Moscow in May 2013.

Archiprix is an international competition where the world’s top architecture students are selected. Architecture departments, schools and faculties of 1 500 universities from 78 countries worldwide are invited to enter their top master’s students over two study years.

In 2012, Jurie Swart was honoured as regional winner of the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award and also received an honourable mention in the 2012 International Graduate Architecture Projects.

After several months of careful evaluation by a panel of five experts, his thesis, Borderline – mediated landscape, A water research centre for the University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, was nominated as one of the world’s 25 master’s projects to take part in the Archiprix in Moscow. His thesis was also on display at the Central House of Artists in Moscow for a couple of months.

The judges were Yuri Grigoryan (architect and director of the Moscow-based Project Meganom, as well as director of educational programmes at the Strelka Institute in Moscow); Susan Herrington (professor of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada); Kristin Jarmund (architect and director of the Norwegian-based Kjark, an architectural house); Hubert Klumpner (architect, director of the Venezuela-based Urban-Think Tank, and professor of architecture and urban design at the ETH, Zürich ); and Lesley Lokko (architect, academic and author from the UK).

Jurie Swart was selected as the participants’ favourite. “From the top 25, seven winners were announced, and although I didn’t win, it is still an amazing achievement and I am proud to have honoured the university’s name,” he said.

During his visit to Moscow, he also attended a workshop with the rest of the nominated students. This project, with the theme Railroads, was an exercise to help solve Russia’s transport problems.

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