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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

Two Kovsies crowned at Miss Deaf SA
2014-10-16


Back, from the left are: Gert en Narda Els (founders of Miss Deaf SA), Elrie du Toit (second princess), Martie Collen (organiser of Miss Deaf SA), Hermina Christi Greeff (first princess), Marissa Smith (Miss Deaf Africa 2014).
Front: Elzane van den Bergh.

The new Deaf Miss South Africa was announced – and Elzane van den Bergh, a Kovsie student, was crowned the winner. Elzane, a final-year BEd Foundation Phase student, also won the title for Best Talent at this swanky event.

Another Kovsie student, Elrie du Toit, was selected as second princess. She was also among the top five for the Best Talent title. Elrie is currently studying to become a social worker.

Twelve finalists from all over South Africa, all deaf or hard of hearing, took part.

On the competition at Miss Deaf South Africa, Elzane’s thoughts are that the judges had a very difficult choice to make. “Each talented girl had some special characteristic that stood out,” she relates.

“I really wanted to do something like this as it would help to make a bigger difference in the community and motivate people to accept themselves for who they are, because we are all uniquely created.”

Elzane’s focus is on teaching basic sign language to hearing parents with deaf babies. She also believes that hearing people should be made more aware of the deaf culture and language. This will eventually lead to deafness no longer being perceived as a disability.

Hard work and preparations are now lying ahead for Miss Deaf World, which will be held in Prague during June next year.

“Never allow any disability or obstacle to stand in the way of your dreams,” says Elzane. “Stick it out and don’t doubt in your abilities for one second, because you were born to be a winner. Be proud of yourself, no matter what.”

 

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