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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

Experts to exchange insights on historical trauma
2014-02-20

Programme

An international group of scholars and practitioners will meet at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February 2014. This will be the first research symposium in a series of four in which experts will share their insights on the aftermath of mass trauma and violence. The symposium brings together scholars from across the globe whose research explores various aspects of historical trauma in Chile, Peru, Cambodia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Mozambique, Germany as well as South Africa.

Discussions on South Africa will include the historical traumas of the Anglo-Boer War and the apartheid years. Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, who is co-hosting the symposium with Prof Björn Krondorfer of Northern Arizona University, explains that the gathering is designed as an International Research Forum with the aim to foster multidisciplinary collaborations. The forum is expected to lead to innovative scholarship, new avenues of inquiry and the advancement of knowledge.

The symposium will kick off on Tuesday 25 February with a morning session from 8:45–12:00. The UFS community is welcome to attend this open forum.This session will include speakers such as Prof Kimberly Theidon of Harvard University and Dr Susan Glisson, Executive Director of the William Winter Center for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi. Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, will deliver an address followed by a discussion on the Human and Academic Projects at the university as strategies of transformation.

The public session will close with a students’ round-table discussion of the Hector Pieterson iconic photo of the 1976 Soweto Uprisings staged as an event in the Anglo-Boer War.

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