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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

Art2 + x [science] = 2 continents fused
2014-04-02


Left: Diamandini by Dr Mari Velonaki. Right: 'Muslim Hairdrying' by Cigdem Aydemir.

Mzanzi resistance art is set to fuse with Australian interdisciplinary art in an experimental ‘boiling pot’ – right here on our Bloemfontein Campus.


Program for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD)

Kovsies and the Vryfees forged a highly-innovative link between South African and Australian artists by establishing the Program for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD). Together we are embarking on a three-year collaboration to see what happens when experimental and community arts are fused.

The project includes intercultural laboratories, art and science exchange programmes, public forums as well developing and presenting experimental art.


Art(ist)s meet science(tists)

For the first time, two Australian artists will visit our Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences in an exchange programme. The one is Dr Mari Velonaki, director of the Creative Robotics Lab at the University of New South Wales. The other is Dr Nigel Helyer, an honorary research fellow at the SymbioticA biotechnology lab at the University of Western Australia.

Dr Velonaki will explore new links between humans and computers that are community orientated. She will work closely with Prof PJ Blignaut and the Department of Computer Science and Informatics. In turn, Dr Helyer will investigate genetic coding and intercultural musical compositions. He will collaborate with Prof J Albertyn at the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology.

Vryfees 2014 and 2015 will also see contemporary and highly-experimental works from renowned Australian artists Cigdem Aydemir and Jess Olivieri. In addition, the festival will present OPENLab – a new national laboratory for early and midcareer artists and creative practitioners interested in making art in the public realm.

The programme is the result of a close partnership between the Vryfees and Situate Art in Festivals, managed by Salamanca Arts Centre in Australia (www.situate.org.au).

It also enjoys the support of:

  • Australia Council for the Arts;
  • NSW Artists Grant Scheme administrated by the National Association of the Visual Arts LTD;
  • Situate Art in Festivals;
  • National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and
  • Modern Art Project SA.

For more information on Piad visit www.vryfees.co.za or https://www.facebook.com/pages/PikoPiad/1435158293383474.

 

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