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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 academic appointed to prestigious academy (ASSAf)
2014-10-07

Another academic of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Jeanet Conradie, professor in Chemistry, was invited as newly elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).Science and research, by which new concepts are discovered, is her great passion.

Her PhD degree in Chemistry, together with also a strong background in Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, influenced Prof Conradie’s choice of research interest and expertise to develop gradually in the direction of computational chemistry, which is a beautiful combination of chemistry and physics.

Computational chemistry uses quantum physical principles and mathematical methods to solve chemistry problems via high-performance computerised calculations. Results obtained can be used to predict and understand the behaviour of atoms and molecules in the real world. Chemical reactions and phenomena that are impossible or too dangerous to study experimentally, can also be studied by computational chemistry. Her research team also does experimental laboratory work to combine and compare with the computational analysis. Based on these results, new materials with specific properties are developed.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) aspires to be the apex organisation for science and scholarship in South Africa, recognised and connected both nationally and internationally. Through its membership which represents the collective voice of the most active scholars in all fields of scholarly enquiry, ASSAf aims to generate evidence-based solutions to national problems.

Prof Corli Witthuhn: Vice-Rector: Research at the UFS said: “The UFS is very proud of Prof Conradie, who is also the first female professor in the Department of Chemistry.  Jeanet is a highly productive researcher publishing in high-impact journals.  She has extensive international networks and collaborations, increasing the impact of her work even more.  We are currently awaiting the outcome of her application for NRF rating and believe that she will receive an excellent rating.”


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