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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

Arts and Social Justice festival brings creativity and academia together
2013-08-28

 

Photo: Linda Fekisi
14 August 2013



Who really benefited from the post-1994 democratic dispensation in the sports arena? What happened to the heroes of non-racial sport? Did the 1992 transition to unification wipe out an entire history of black sport in rugby and replaced it with a sanitized version of the sport?

These are some of the questions film producer Mark Fredericks explores in his thought-provoking documentary film ‘Injury Time’. The film is one of several documentaries screened as part of the second annual Artistic and Social Justice Week, hosted by the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice from 19 to 31 August 2013.

Extended from last year's one-week run, this year’s programme is packed with great productions, exhibitions and intellectual encounters celebrating freedom of expression. A highly-anticipated event on the programme is the open-air film screening of the documentary 'Dear Mandela' on Friday 30 August. This film follows the journey of three young people from their shacks to the highest court in the country as they invoke Nelson Mandela's example and become leaders in a growing social movement.

Speaking at the opening of the festival, Prof André Keet, Director of the Institute, said the purpose of the two week programme is to explore new and different ways of understanding social relations. "It’s an endeavour which is crucial to the Institute's objective of confronting the histories, policies and practices that has shaped and constrained the intellectual and social mandate of universities across the country and world."



“The role of art and literature in reflecting on society, has overtaken – in terms of substance, quality and relevance – the function of critical commentators, political analyst, sociologists and philosophers. Artists are, simply put, better political commentators than political commentators themselves. Better political commentators than philosophers, better political commentators than political analysts. Uniquely positioned to engage with social reality, art and literature demand that we experience artistic work as political acts.” Prof André Keet

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