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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 celebrates Madiba’s legacy with coin-laying ceremony on 18 July 2013
2013-07-15

 

Photo: Johann Roux
08 July 2013

The University of the Free State (UFS) will once again join South Africans as well as the broader international community on Thursday 18 July 2013 in celebration of the enduring legacy of beloved former statesman, Nelson Mandela.

The UFS aims to stay true to the spirit of giving and selflessness epitomised by Mandela Day, focusing on the university community as well as the city of Bloemfontein.

This year’s event will strive to eclipse the success achieved during the 2012 event which featured Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu as special guest.

The festivities on 18 July 2013 will kick off with university volunteers cleaning various areas of Bloemfontein. Departing from the Bloemfontein Campus at 09:00, the volunteers will clean areas in Heidedal and Mangaung with the help of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality.

In Heidedal, the volunteers will clean the crèche on the corner of Parish and Lackay roads as well as the old clinic on the corner of Parish and De Vries. In Mangaung, the volunteers will tackle the bustling Free Square on the Dewetsdorp road.

The larger celebration will take place on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus at 12:00. Long-time Madiba confidant, Zelda la Grange, will deliver a message, followed by a R5 coin-laying ceremony.

La Grange will be joined by the motorcycle riders affiliated to the Bikers for Nelson Mandela Day, OFM presenter Johrné van Huysteen who will conduct proceedings, UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector Prof Jonathan Jansen as well as UFS students, staff, other dignitaries and special guests.

The programme also includes a lucky draw with winners standing the chance to win restored bicycles. Tickets can be purchased through Annelize Visagie at 051 401 3258 or at visagiea@ufs.ac.za. The winners will be announced during the ceremony on the Red Square.

All proceeds of the coin-laying ceremony and lucky draw will be contributed towards the university’s No Student Hungry (NSH) Programme.

The NSH Programme was established in 2011 to help ensure needy students are supplied with a food bursary which provides them with the necessary nourishment to excel in their academic studies. The initiative has since become a university-wide endeavour and currently serves more than 100 students daily on the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses.

Rag Community Service will also cater for the specific needs which the harsh Free State winter causes – especially to the poor. Close to 500 blankets will be donated on Mandela Day to five different charities, including Mosamaria Aids Ministry, Choc House and Freshly Young Minds.

For further information, please contact Marissa van Jaarsveld on 051 401 3834 or at nostudenthungry@ufs.ac.za.

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