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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

Volksblad (Editorial) Transformation recipe (Afrikaans)
2007-02-13

(Editorial - Afrikaans)

Dinsdag 13 Februarie 2007
Hoofartikelblad

Transformasie-resep

DIE transformasieproses in Suid-Afrika kan vooruitgang pootjie as dit nie reg aangepak en deurgevoer word nie.
 
 

Anders gestel: 'n Onbekookte, ondeurdagte proses kan soveel skade aanrig dat dit die land jare gaan neem net om weer op die been te kom.

 
 
Dit is hierdie slaggate waarteen prof. Adam Habib, direkteur van demokrasie en regering by die RGN, waarsku. Transformasie in die hoër onderwys is hier ter sprake, maar belangrike lesse is ook vir die res van die staatshuishouding te leer.
 

Habib het op 'n gespreksgeleentheid op die Wits-kampus gesê universiteite kan binne 10 tot 15 jaar sterf as niks gedoen word om nuwe, jong akademici van gehalte te werf nie. In hul poging om te transformeer en "swart boude op sitplekke te kry" het universiteite so agtergeraak met hul doelwitte dat hulle nou selfs van swakker gehalte is as vroeër. "Speletjies" word met transformasie gespeel en 'n "malheid" rondom syfers is aan die gang.
 

Instellings fokus so daarop om hul kwota-mikpunte te bereik, sê die professor, dat dienslewering en kundigheid die kreeftegang gaan. "So kry 'n mens 'n situasie waar die adjunk-president dan aankondig sy moet Indië toe gaan om vaardige mense te kry."
 

'n Mens kan net hoop dat hierdie waarskuwings op die regte ore val.
 

Transformasie is nodig, maar beslis nie tot elke prys nie.
 

Dit kan die hoëronderwys-sektor loon om te kom kyk waarheen die Universiteit van die Vrystaat met sy Institusionele Manifes op pad is.
 

Die manifes, tans nog 'n besprekingsdokument, gaan die transformasieproses van die UV rig met as einddoel 'n instelling waar alle Suid-Afrikaners plek sal hê en tuis sal voel, maar waarin kernwaardes soos akademiese gehalte en die volgehoue versterking van kernbevoegdhede en -vermoëns ononderhandelbaar is.
 

Dit is sekerlik die enigste pad na transformasie-welslae wat Suid-Afrika kan en moet loop.

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