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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

Make the right choices and you will succeed, Prof Jansen advises learners
2014-05-30

“You can make a choice today that will end up with you being pregnant, having babies, being unemployed, sitting at home like some of our brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. Or you can make a different decision – and that decision is about you working so hard that you earn entry into the University of the Free State, get your degree and become great, not only in South Africa, but in the world.”

This was the message from the UFS’s Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, who addressed prospective Kovsies during our Open Day on the Qwaqwa Campus on Saturday 24 May 2014. Prof Jansen advised all learners to always make the right decisions.

“The first right decision is to pass well. You must go for 60%, 70% and 80% passes. Set yourself a target and do not just strive to pass, but to pass well,” Prof Jansen told a packed Rolihlahla Mandela Multi-purpose Hall, with learners coming from as far as Ficksburg, Lindley and Koppies.

“The second thing that you need to do, is to believe in yourself. Do not believe people who tell you what you can or cannot do. Believe in what you can do,” said Prof Jansen.

“Thirdly, you have to get up and do things for yourself. You have to work hard, sleep less and study hard. Don't accept excuses. If you can do these three things, then the best place to study is the University of the Free State. Believe that the sky is the limit.”

“We learned a very valuable lesson here today,” said Tumelo Mofokeng from Nkarabeng Secondary School in Kestell.

The fun-filled programme included performances and messages of encouragement from current students who have been part of the unique Leadership for Change Programme. This programme equips first-year students with skills to reflect, dialogue and engage on issues of diversity and leadership.

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