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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

UFS blows the whistle on crime
2014-03-28


At the event were, from the left: Refiloe Seane, Director: Student Counselling and Development; Anastasia Sehlabo, SRC member for Accessibility and Student Support. Back, from the left: Melissa Barnaschone, Student Counselling and Development; and Mokgawa Kobe, Director: Protection Services.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

First-year students receive 1 000 whistles in project to combat crime.

Numerous safety measures were implemented by the University of the Free State in the past five years to ensure the safety of all the students and staff on all three campuses of the UFS. A large area of the UFS Campus is covered by security cameras. Red poles, equipped with panic buttons that can be activated to call for help, were also erected across the campuses.

At the beginning of 2013, as a further safety measure, whistles were handed out to female students in residences.

At an event on 26 March 2014, Refiloe Seane, Director: Student Counselling and Development, together with her team, handed over 1 000 whistles to the Student Representative Council to be distributed to first-year students. The whistles were sponsored by Prof Nicky Morgan, Vice-Rector: Operations and Mokgawa Kobe, Director: Protection Services.

“Female students are encouraged to use the whistles to call for help when they feel unsafe or are in danger. The objective is, firstly, to discourage criminals without suffering any negative consequences, and secondly, to get the attention of security or any other form of assistance,” said Melissa Barnaschone, Student Counselling and Development.

At the event, Mokgawa said: “The moment you blow this whistle, you say to the potential criminal:

  • I hate what you do
  • I will not keep quiet about it
  • I am doing something against crime.”

 

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