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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 discontinues one Masters programme
2006-07-26

As from next year, the University of the Free State (UFS) will no longer offer one of its specialist master’s degrees in education – the M Ed in Education Management.

 The other six M Ed programmes that are currently being offered at the UFS will continue as normal.

 The decision to discontinue one of the M Ed programmes follows a national review of M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

 Of the 23 tertiary institutions whose M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership were reviewed by the HEQC, only 7 received full accreditation.   

 “The findings of the HEQC affect only one of our M Ed degree programmes, namely the M Ed in Educational Management,” said Prof Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS

 “We will be paying full attention to the findings of the HEQC with a view to correcting some of the shortcomings that have been identified by the HEQC and will consider submitting a reviewed proposal for such a qualification in two years time,” she said.

 According to Prof Fourie, the programme currently has 30 students enrolled.  “These students – spread across their first and second years of the degree programme – will be allowed to complete their studies with the full support of the UFS and the School of Education,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The qualification that has been awarded to students who have already completed their studies for this specific M Ed in Education Management degree programme remains a valid qualification and is not affected by the HEQC review,” said Prof Fourie.

 She said the UFS welcomed the efforts of the HEQC to ensure that all academic programmes offered by higher education institutions meet certain standards.

“One of the primary problem areas in the M Ed in Educational Management offered by the UFS identified by the HEQC, was that the programme is too practice orientated and must be more theoretical to comply with the academic requirements of a master’s degree.  This was a result of the fact that the programme was initially compiled in consultation with principals and the provincial Department of Education to address their needs,” said Prof Fourie.

“The UFS will in the mean time offer an advanced certificate in Educational Management and Leadership from next year.  This is a new course that will stretch over a period of two years and will ensure that we can still address the needs of teachers and principals,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The UFS remains committed to providing top quality degree programmes in all its six faculties and will continue to work with the HEQC in ensuring that this actually happens,” said Prof Fourie.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
25 July 2006

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