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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

Health Sciences expand their training platform to Trompsburg
2014-04-03

We will soon be able to accommodate more students who wish to obtain a qualification in the medical profession, after an agreement was reached between the UFS’s Faculty of Health Sciences, the Department of Higher Education and Training and the Free State Department of Health.

Some R28 million were allocated to the UFS for setting up two new Health Sciences facilities.

It is through this agreement that the Faculty of Health Sciences recently bought the Midway Hotel in Trompsburg, in order to expand their training opportunities platform for students in the faculty. Two other facilities are currently being negotiated for Kimberley and the Eastern Free State.

Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the faculty, says their training platform at the Universitas Academic Hospital (including Universitas Hospital, the National District Hospital, Pelonomi Hospital, the Free State Psychiatric and 3 Military Hospital) is saturated.

“We couldn’t accommodate additional students without compromising the quality of practical training. We are forced to expand the training platform to other good primary health facilities which will be accredited by that the Health Professions Council – in this case the new Trompsburg.”

Prof Van Zyl says the necessary infrastructure must be put in place before student numbers can be increased. Some of the plans include:

  • Furnished accommodation in Trompsburg for about 50 students from the School of Medicine, School of Allied Health Professions and the School of Nursing.
  • Administrative and academic support points, including office space for administrative and other essential learning areas.
  • Equipment and facilities for e-learning.

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