Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

“You cannot find Ubuntu in a culture of dominance” – Dr Mamphela Ramphele during second Leah Tutu Gender Symposium
2015-02-28

 

From the left are: Samantha van Schalkwyk, Zanele Mbeki, Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela and Dr Mamphela Ramphele.
Photo: Johan Roux

 

Video message from Mrs Leah Tutu

Session 1: Keynote address by Dr Mamphela Ramphele
Ndiyindoda! Yes, you are a man 

Session 2: Professor Robert Morrell from the University of Cape Town
South African Gender Studies: Setting the context

Session 3: How can we engage young men to act against violence against women?
Panel discussion by Lisa Vetten (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research), Despina Learmonth (Psychology Department, University of Cape Town) and Wessel van den Berg (Sonke Gender Justice) 

Session 4: Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Self-defence as a strategy for women’s resistance: Reflections on the work of Susan Brison
 

Engaging men to act against gender-based violence in the Southern African context.

This was the theme of the second International Leah Tutu Symposium, hosted by the Gender Initiative of Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies of the University of the Free State (UFS) on Tuesday 24 February 2015.

What does it mean to be man? How can men become active in the fight against gender-based violence? And when does one say: enough is enough? Questions like these set the tone as highly-respected individuals such as Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Prof Rob Morrell, Lisa Vetten and Andy Kawa took to the stage in the Odeion on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Leah Tutu
Unfortunately, Mrs Leah Tutu could not attend this year’s event, but she still managed to send sparks of wit and insight into the auditorium. In her video message, Mrs Tutu referred to the fact that our country has “consigned discriminatory legislation to the rubbish bin of the past”, but we continue to inhabit a divided society.

“We have a constitution and bill of rights that should have sounded the death knell for patriarchy. But women are unsafe across the land,” Mrs Tutu said. “Our freedom cost too much to be left out in the rain,” she urged.

Ndiyindoda! Yes, you are a man
In Dr Ramphele’s keynote address, “Ndiyindoda! Yes, you are a man”, she scrutinised the dominant masculinity model that has supported an alpha-male mentality for millennia. A mentality that celebrates dominance, power and control – where the winner takes it all. How then, can we expect our young boys to embrace the value system of a human rights culture?

“Gender equality is at the heart of our constitutional democratic values. Yet, our society continues to privilege and celebrate the alpha male as a masculinity model,” Dr Ramphele said. This dissonance can only produce conflict and violence.

We encourage our young men to be gentle, communicative, caring people who show their emotions. And when they do, what do we as women do? Do we encourage them?

“Or do we join those who call them wimps, moffies, sissies? How do we respond when they are ridiculed?” Dr Ramphele asked. Are we, as mothers, fathers and grandparents willing to socialise our children to acknowledge a diversity of masculinities as equally valid in our society?

The new man and the new woman of the 21st century need to be liberated from the conflict-ridden dominant masculinity model. They need to be able to shape their identity in line with a value system of human rights as enshrined in our constitution.

Perhaps Dr Ramphele’s message could be summed up by one sentence: You cannot find Ubuntu in a culture of dominance.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept