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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

Messages and mail – what people say about Kovsies
2014-10-02

 
Letters from Kovsie students, parents, the community and even visitors to our university from across the globe regularly pour into our mailboxes and onto our social media pages.

To give you a glimpse of what they say about our institution, here are a few examples:

•    If you continue with this innovative thinking then the UFS will soon become the Ivy League institution of South Africa. – Chris Abels, United Kingdom

•    My daughter loves Kovsies. She has really come out of her shell as a result of the wonderful environment created by Kovsie leaders. She is flourishing and has for the second year in a row achieved the distinction of being a top academic student. Once again, thank you for your kind assistance which clearly indicates to me that Kovsies treat their students like family and not merely a number. – Grant Combrink, Port Elizabeth

•    The state of the University of Free State inspired me to go back to school and do my law degree. The cleanliness and the mood of the institution was inspirational and not only to me but also to a few of my colleagues. – Joseph Peter Kgomo, a journalist with the public broadcaster

•    I arrived in Bloemfontein to begin a one year appointment as a Fulbright Scholar. I have remarked to friends and colleagues in America that we can learn a great deal about hospitality towards our foreign visitors by embodying the altruism demonstrated throughout your campus. Thank you for the opportunity to become a Kovsie. – Professor Brenda C Eppley, Professor at Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

•    I would like to congratulate you on the job well done regarding transformation and integration thereof. Indeed, the UFS that I am in is not the UOVS that I was in. – Tefo Masoetsa

•    I attended the Oprah Winfrey graduation ceremony in 2009 and when Dr Desmond Tutu received his honorary Doctorate. On both occasions one felt something big and miraculous was happening and many in the audience were moved. You are doing something down there in the Free State that really deserves attention! – Joy Summers, Producer: Carte Blanche

•    There will be much more hurt before our country is healed, but it will be the Kovsie doctors, psychiatrists and teachers applying the plasters and it will be the Kovsie architects, quantity surveyors, jurists and farmers building and regulating a new country. – Marzanne Lombard, proud former member of Soetdoring and Welwitschia Residences

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