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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

Young researcher from UFS on SAYAS executive committee
2014-10-28



Dr Aliza le Roux
Photo: Sonia Small
Dr Aliza le Roux from the Department of Zoology and Entomology on the UFS’s Qwaqwa Campus is one of ten young scientists who was recently inaugurated as a new member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). Not only was she inducted into the society this past October, but she was also elected to serve on the executive committee for SAYAS.

Dr Le Roux’s research focus is on cognitive ecology, behavioural ecology and zoology. She has expressed her excitement about the new position, and is already developing new ideas with her new colleagues on drawing more young people into the South African scientific community.

This position provides a regional and international platform to raise the profile of science in general, and Le Roux hopes to be active in SAYAS’s new mentorship collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences, and to introduce new methods of scientific outreach using social media. Inspired by the students on the Qwaqwa Campus, Dr Le Roux hopes to specifically target relatively isolated rural campuses in SAYAS’s activities.

Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research at the UFS, said, “Aliza le Roux is an outstanding young scientist on our Qwaqwa Campus. I am very excited about the young researchers on our Qwaqwa Campus with Aliza as one of the leaders, and I am looking forward to what else they can achieve in the next five years.”

SAYAS was launched in October 2011 with 20 founding members as a mechanism to propel South Africa’s young scientists to fully participate in relevant local and international research and development agendas. It provides a national platform where leading young scholars from all disciplines in the country can interact, and also access international networking and career development opportunities.

SAYAS contributes primarily to the achievement of the national strategic priority of strengthening the skills and human-resource base of the country. Its particular niche is to focus on strengthening high-level skills among young scientists and the promotion of scientific excellence.


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