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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

Ensuring justice does not get lost in translation
2014-02-06


Court interpreters who have successfully completed a legal interpreting learnership.
Photo: Stephen Collett

The University of the Free State (UFS) is a taking a leading role in changing the face and character of the South African court system, infusing it with qualified professionals.

The university’s Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment partnered with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development as well as the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA). This union lead to 63 court interpreters successfully completing a legal interpreting learnership.

These newly-qualified interpreters will from now on render specialised interpreting services in courts across our country.

Addressing the audience at the diploma ceremony held on the Bloemfontein Campus, Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar of the UFS, said translators have an important role to play. ”Translation is a gift to those who do not understand the language that a person is speaking,” he said.

In her speech, Nonkululeko Sindane, Director-General in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, said the qualification will improve the professional status of court interpreting. She added that the learnership is based on a broader government policy on skills development. She mentioned that eight of those who received qualifications have been permanently employed by the department.

Praising the university for its role, Abbey Witbooi, Chairperson of the SASSETA board, said the diploma will allow qualified learners to contribute to social and economic transformation. This will ensure the protection of human rights in the court setting. In addition, it also provides equal access to a fair trial in terms of effective communication. “The fact that this is a first in the republic, speaks volumes for the extent of the commitment of collective leadership to realise the transformation agenda,” he said.


 

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