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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

Busy medical student’s message to Kovsies
2014-05-23

Stefan van der Westhuizen is a third-year medical student at Kovsies and although he performs well academically, it is not only his studies that keep him busy.

In 2012 Stefan was part of the Leadership for Change programme visiting the International Christian University in Tokyo and in 2013 he visited Stanford’s Sophomore College in California. More recently, he was a guest speaker at this year’ Kovsie Open Day.

His message to current and prospective Kovsies is as follows.

“It is important to me that all students should know: at Kovsies it isn’t only about what you see at the surface. At Kovsies we build a holistic student. And there is a great variety of opportunities – this is what made me decide to come here.”

“The more you do, the more you can do. Something important that I would like to say to prospective medical students, is: here at Kovsies you will not only swot medicine. You learn to be a human being. And this is something you won’t find at other universities.”

“You must decide what you want to achieve, who you want to be and where you want to make a difference. I would rather be a 60% medical student than a 60% human being.”

Stefan would like to go abroad again in future, but then he would like to study at an American medical university. He aims to eventually specialise in cardiothoracic surgery.

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