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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 in joint venture with Empowerdex
2006-11-17

The University of the Free State (UFS) today became the first tertiary institution in the country to sign a joint venture agreement with Empowerdex, South Africa’s foremost black economic empowerment (BEE) ratings agency, to train BEE practitioners that will implement BEE across all sectors of the economy.
 
The agreement was signed by Mr Vuyo Jack, Executive Chairman of Empowerdex and Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.
 
Mr Jack and Mr Chia-Chao Wu, Managing Director of Empowerdex, will be appointed as visiting professors in the UFS School of Management as part of the joint venture.
 
“The joint venture entails the establishment of a transformation office within the Centre for Business Dynamics at the UFS which will administer training programmes and conduct contract research on BEE as well as the establishment of a verification agency within the UFS School of Management,” said Mr Danie Jacobs, Head of the Centre for Business Dynamics at the UFS.
 
“The verification agency within the UFS School of Management will be able to verify the BEE compliance of businesses in the Free State and Northern Cape,” said Mr Jacobs.
 
According to Mr Jacobs, the venture originates from the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) directive to draft codes of good practice for businesses as stated in the Broad Based Black Empowerment Act 53 of 2003. The final codes will be announced shortly and will act as a standard framework for the measurement of broad based BEE across all sectors of the economy.
 
The codes comprise seven elements on which basis points are allocated to a business to determine its level of compliance to BEE. 
 
“The UFS is the only tertiary institution in the country which offers a formal certificate whereby BEE practitioners can be trained in order to ensure that they are competent to measure BEE,” said Mr Jacobs.
 
“Being able to utilise the UFS’ experience and expertise in the field of transformation is of great benefit to us and it will assist us in driving BEE in the country,” said Mr Jack. 
 
According to Mr Jack, the UFS is centrally situated, which will make it easy for BEE practitioners to access the appropriate training course to suit their needs. “The venture will have an impact not only on this region, but on the whole country as the extensive networks of both Empowerdex and the UFS will contribute to us reaching and training BEE practitioners,” said Mr Jack. 
 
The training programmes that will be offered by the transformation office within the UFS Centre for Business Dynamics are the Management Development Programme for BEE and Transformation, the Executive Credit Bearing Short Learning Programme and an online Non-Credit Bearing Short Learning Programme for BEE Specialists. 
 
“The expertise and knowledge that Empowerdex brings to the joint venture is invaluable. Empowerdex pioneered the empowerment methodology and has been actively involved in the drafting of broad based BEE legislation, regulations and transformation charters,” said Mr Jacobs.
 
Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
17 November 2006
 

Being empowered: Mr Vuyo Jack, Executive Chairman of BEE ratings agency Empowerdex, and Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS). Empowerdex and the UFS signed an agreement to train practitioners that will implement BEE across all sectors of the economy.

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