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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

Golden Key International Honour Society swells it ranks with Kovsie students
2013-08-28

 

Golden Key honorary member, Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, with Stefan Gericke, Chapter Relations Officer of Golden Key International Honour Society.
Photo: Sonia Small
28 August 2013

Kovsie students continue to swell the ranks of the world’s biggest academic honour society, the Golden Key International Honour Society, with more than 500 students from the university becoming new members.

The UFS chapter of the society – who only welcomes the top 15% of academic students at the university – inducted the new members at a ceremony held on Saturday 24 August 2013 on the Bloemfontein Campus.

In addition, the organisation also pays recognition to those who act as role models to these students. Thus, the organisation also inducted Profs Odireleng Ntwaeaborwa, Dave Lubbe, Dennis Francis, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela and executive chairperson of Richmark, Gavin Varejes as honorary members.

Prof Dave Lubbe delivered the keynote speech entitled “From intellectual leader to real leader – few ideas”, structuring his talk around five key points: wisdom, basics, over specialization, ethnical leadership and courage.

“The society aims to make students realise their potential and create a network for excelling students,” said Mbavhalelo Rammbwa; Golden Key UFS Chapter president.

Parents from as far as Limpopo came to show appreciation for their children’s dedication to their studies. “I am really happy not only for my daughter, but for every single student who has been inaugurated to the society this morning for their discipline, hard work and the dedication they show their studies. I thank Prof Jonathan Jansen, the lectures and academics for inspiring our children to study and make the most of the opportunity which we didn’t have,” said Mpho Mohoje, a parent of one of the students at the induction.

Another feather in the university's cap is the fact that UFS registrar, Dr Derek Swemmer is not only co-advisor of the chapter, but also the chairperson of the society’s international governing body.

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