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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

SA one of the leading countries for female researchers
2014-10-28

South Africa is one of the leading countries for female researchers, with women constituting about 40% of the research field, says Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor.

The Minister made these comments during the Public Lecture of the Faculty of Education on our Bloemfontein Campus on Friday evening 24 October 2014. Minister Pandor urged female students to seize the opportunities in science and technology that has been made available to them since 1994.

"Forty percent of South Africa's researchers are women. Of the 40 000 researchers in universities, science councils and business shown by our latest research and development survey records, nearly half are women. That makes South Africa one of the leading countries for female researchers," said the Minister.

Minister Pandor said that the rights and status of women in South Africa had been greatly advanced since South Africa became a constitutional democracy. "It is well known that better educated women are better for a country's social and economic development," she added.

Minister Pandor pointed out that research skills were some of the most sought-after skills in the world, and encouraged women graduates to start dominating in the research and laboratory fields, where men continue to reign supreme.

"Knowledge and innovation, rather than capital and labour, are the drivers of economic growth in all countries. The current affluence of high-income countries has been massively increased by their investment in science and new technologies."


Full lecture

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