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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 Prestige Scholar shares her vision on crystallography with worldwide audience
2014-04-24

 
Dr Alice Brink
Dr Alice Brink, a Prestige Scholar and lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of the Free State, was selected by UNESCO to participate, together with some 15 other young scientists from all over the world, in a round-table discussion at the Opening Ceremony of the International Year of Crystallography.

During this event, that took place in Paris, France, Dr Brink could, on stage, share her vision as one of the next generation of scientists.

“The 15 crystallographers consisted of eight young, established scientists and seven ‘young-young’ scientists who are starting their careers. We participated in a group discussion in order for the crystallographic community to better understand the challenges faced by young scientists across the globe.

“It was a great privilege to be invited to be part of this talented and diverse discussion group and to hear the challenges that are faced by young scientists from different parts of the world. It is also comforting to hear that scientific difficulties that are found in South Africa are commonly experienced in both First and Third World countries,” said Dr Brink.

“Crystallography has directly influenced the development of numerous scientific fields such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, medicine, engineering and material sciences. More inter-departmental collaboration would benefit greatly from crystallography, as this multi-faceted science provides foundation principles for applied research,” she said.

The United Nations declared 2014 as the International Year of Crystallography, and it was officially opened at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris by the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon.

The ceremony was video-streamed live to more than 500 destinations all over the world.

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