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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

PhD students’ voices reverberate across Africa and beyond
2014-01-14

 

Noel Ndumeya, Tinashe Nyamunda, Ivo Mhike and Anusa Daimon
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
The Centre of Africa Studies (CAS) has been recruiting the best young scholars from across the SADC region – with magnificent success. In the span of six months, four PhD students have excelled both on the African continent and abroad.

Anusa Daimon, Noel Ndumeya, Ivo Mhike and Tinashe Nyamunda – the names of these distinguished students. Set against the backdrop of global excellence and competition, they have been awarded several positions at conferences and already published world-wide.

Anusa Daimon’s PhD studies at the CAS focuses on Malawian migrants and their descendants in Southern Africa. It explores issues of identity construction and agency among this group.

Since his arrival at the CAS, Daimon has won two fully-funded awards to attend international conferences and workshops. He was invited to attend the Young African Scholars Conference at Cambridge University in the UK. He also went to Brazil to the IGK Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History Summer Academy. This workshop explored the historical and modern meanings and practices of work in terms of ‘freedom’ and ‘unfreedom’.

Noel Ndumeya holds a special interest in environmental history and the aspects of conservation and conflict. His PhD hones in on land and agrarian studies with specific focus on South Eastern Zimbabwe.

Ndumeya has won an award from the African Studies Association United Kingdom (ASAUK). This earned him an invitation to Nairobi, Kenya, to work with an editor from the Journal of Southern Africa Studies (JSAS).

Ivo Mhike’s research specialises in youth culture and their relationship with the state. In his PhD he uses juvenile delinquency as a window towards an analysis of social constructs of youth behaviour. This includes youth policy and their institutional and administrative links to the state.

Mhike has been invited to attend the CODESRIA Child and Youth Institute in Dakar, Senegal, with the theme: Social Protection and the Citizen Rights of Vulnerable Children in Africa.

Tinashe Nyamunda specialises in African Economic History. His PhD thesis is entitled, “The State and Finance in Rhodesia: A study of the evolution of the monetary system during the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI), 1965–1979”.

Under the direction of his primary supervisor, Prof Ian Phimister and his secondary supervisor, Dr Andrew Cohen, four of his papers have been accepted for publication. Nyamunda also received sponsorship from the Rector’s Office for an edited book collection of which he is the leading author. The book focuses on the many aspects of Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds.

Recently, Nyamunda has contributed papers at conferences in Botswana and Scotland and attended a workshop at Lund University in Sweden. He has also received an invitation from Germany and Oxford to present some chapters of his PhD thesis.

“The centre has provided the best working environment any PhD student can dream of,” Nyamunda said. He continued to remark that the opportunities Prof Jonathan Jansen has created opened up immense possibilities for them.

“Given these fruitful experiences in just a year at the university,” Nyamunda said,” imagine what can be accomplished given the resources and environment availed by the institution.” The prospects after his PhD studies looks bright, he concluded, because of the opportunities provided by the UFS.

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