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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

Understanding the nature of prominence
2014-03-14

 

What did Hendrik Verwoerd and Steve Biko have in common? Or perhaps Johannes Kerkorrel and Brenda Fassie?

“They all possessed a certain natural predisposition to prominence,” says Prof Paul Fouche, reseacher in psychobiography at the University of the Free State’s Department of Psychology.

Prof Fouche and a team of researchers from other South African universities released findings on psychobiographical studies done on personalities that played a great role in our history.

The studies show that notable historical figures were very often prolific readers with a passion for literature since childhood. Generally, they also had a great love for nature and a sense of the sacredness of it, as well as a love for the cosmos.

The study further reveals that many of them were forced to take up leadership roles in the family from a very young age and were driven to succeed in order to take care of their own.

In many of these cases, there was a strong partner who supported the leader while they went about the business of governing their world.

Psychobiography is the systematic and descriptively-rich case study of renowned, enigmatic or even contentious individuals in socio-historical contexts within a psychological frame of reference. Over the past decade, psychobiography has become an established research genre and a methodology used by various academics and scholars in the field of life history research.

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