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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

Degree in Forensic Science for 2014
2013-08-16

16 August 2013

A BSc degree in Forensic Science will be presented for the first time at the University of the Free State (UFS) from 2014. It is also the first degree of its kind to be presented in South Africa.

According to the Department of Genetics in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences the three-year degree is, among others, aimed at people working on crime scenes and on criminal cases in the SA Police Service and in forensic laboratories. At postgraduate level, students can specialise in a variety of forensic fields up to PhD.

A maximum of 80 students will be selected for admission to the course in 2014. Entrance requirements are an admission point of at least 34, as well as a combined minimum point of 17 for Mathematics, Life Sciences and Physical Science. Applications for 2014 close on 30 September 2013. About 700 to 800 new appointments were advertised in this field by the SAPS in the past two years.

The UFS has been offering an honours programme in Forensic Genetics since 2010.

The new course comes at a time when the Government is taking significant steps to eradicate crime in South Africa. At the first conference of the SA Police Service’s National Forensic Service in July 2013, it was reported that milliards of rand are spent to establish an integrated, modernised, well-manned and well-managed criminal justice system. New laboratories are already operational and more laboratories are planned, including one in each province.

The so-called DNA Bill is likely to be approved by Parliament before the end of 2013. Under this bill, all current schedule-1 criminals and suspected criminals will be obliged to provide DNA samples. This information will be stored in a DNA database.

According to the SAPS’ Serial Unit, approximately 1 300 serial killers are currently active in South Africa and the DNA database can be helpful to bring these and other criminals to book. About 80% of all crimes are committed by about 20% of the criminals.

More information on the Forensic Science degree can be found at forensics@ufs.ac.za or +27(0)51 401 9680 or +27(0)51 401 2776.

 

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication

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