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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

Internet Broadcast Project wins international award
2014-05-05

The Enterprise Video Awards (EVA) named Kovsies’ Internet Broadcast Project (IBP) the winner of the Innovation in Pedagogy category. During a glitzy ceremony on 28 April 2014 in Madison, USA, Edward Musgrave, Deputy Director of the ICTISE Division, took to the stage to receive the award.

The IBP makes use of the best teachers in the Free State to broadcast lessons on more than ten subjects to school learners who do not have access to quality education. And it is not only the learners who benefit. Their teachers receive invaluable training in the process as well.

This remarkable programme provided the judges with plentiful evidence to be named the winner. The IBP team had to come up with highly innovative solutions to overcome the costs of local bandwidth constraints. The result? High definition videos being streamed in real time across a 1Meg line. Simultaneously to 70 centres across the Free State. Added to that is the fact that multiple images are broadcast as one, reaching 43 000 learners and 1 250 teachers per week. To top it all, the broadcast is interactive – the learners can ask questions directly to the teacher during the lesson.

All of this at no cost to the schools.

“It is remarkable for a South African university to receive this international recognition,” said Sarietjie Musgrave, heading up the ICTISE programme at the South Campus. “It raises awareness, not only for the work we do, but also the community work the university does,” she said.

And now the Free State has the highest pass rate of matriculants in South Africa.

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