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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

Access to the Bloemfontein Campus
2015-04-02

Access Control Made Easy

The first phase of access control at the University of the Free State (UFS) was implemented in August 2014. The aim of this initiative is to tighten security measures on the Bloemfontein Campus.
 
Since November 2014, access control has been implemented at all five gates on the Bloemfontein Campus. These are:

  • The Main gate in Nelson Mandela Drive (Gate 1)
  • The gate in DF Malherbe Drive (Gate 5)
  • The gate in Wynand Mouton Drive (Gate 3) 
  • The gate in Furstenburg Street (Gate 4)
  • The gate in Badenhorst Street (Gate 2)

Here is some useful information about the access control system:

1. Remember your access card when you enter the campus

Dual-function cards (with distance reader compatibility) will make your movement through the gates more convenient. The university’s access system works automatically with remote or swipe action. Please make sure that you drive close to the reader or, better still, get the dual-frequency card to manage the distance between your vehicle and the remote card reader.

As of 23 March 2015, the extra security staff, who have been assisting at the gates since the implementation of access control on the Bloemfontein Campus, are no longer manning the card readers at the gates. Therefore, persons without cards will be able to enter the campus only at the one gate in DF Malherbe Drive where the Visitors Centre is situated. They will be referred to the Visitors Centre, where a day visitor’s card will be issued to them. You will need to produce a formal identification document (e.g. ID book, driver's licence).

Security will continue their normal duties at the guardhouses for the various gates on the campus.

2. Where do I get an access card?

You can apply at the university’s Visitors Centre front desk by producing your positive identification (ID book/passport/driver’s licence) and proof of payment for your access card.

You will then be directed to the Thakaneng Bridge where you will be able to collect your access card.

  • Go to the Cashier on the Thakaneng Bridge and pay your R65 for the dual-frequency card
  • Take your receipt, together with your existing card (if you have one), to the Card Division on the Thakaneng Bridge (next to Mellins Optometrists)
  • A new photo will be taken of you at the Card Office for your new card. Your new card will then be issued immediately.

Currently, there is a sufficient stock of the dual-frequency cards available at the Card Division on the Thakaneng Bridge.
 
Alternatively, you can apply online for your access card: http://apps.ufs.ac.za/cardapplication/application.aspx

Make sure you have the following documents ready to attach when completing the online form:

  • Copy of positive identification: ID/Driver's Licence/Passport
  • Signed declaration (http://supportservices.ufs.ac.za/dl/Userfiles/Documents/00007/4668_eng.pdf) by your service provider/employer (if you are a service provider) or a letter of confirmation from your spouse/partner/relative/coach/relevant UFS staff member or student in cases where you have to visit, pick-up or drop off your spouse/partner/relative frequently on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

Cost: R65 for a long-term card and free of charge for short-term visits and conference delegates. Pay at the Cashier on the Thakaneng Bridge or at Absa Bank, Account Number: 1 570 8500 71, Ref: 1 413 07670 0198.

3. Cutoff Date: 7 April 2015

After 7 April 2015, no pedestrian or motorist will be able to enter the campus without a valid access card. Persons without access cards will have to enter the campus at the gate in DF Malherbe Drive where the Visitors Centre is situated. You will then be referred to the Visitors Centre where you will have to apply for a day visitor’s card. It is important to note that no one will be able to enter the campus at the Visitors Centre without a formal identification document (e.g. ID book, driver's licence).

4. Dual-frequency card simplifies access to the campus

It is important to have your card ready on entering the campus.

This card will simplify access to the campus considerably, as the card reader will read the card when it is held in a vertical position at the driver’s side window in the direction of the distance reader. Please do not place the card on the dashboard. There is an antenna wire in the card. If the card is placed on the dashboard, you are not exposing the card surface to the reader, and that might influence the antenna’s response to the reader.

Remember, the distance between the reader and the boom is only a few metres.  If you approach the reader at a ’high’ speed, you are not allowing the system to identify your card, match it to the entry in the database, check if you are ‘legal’, and then send a signal to open the boom. 

All five gates are equipped with distance readers. Within the next three weeks, two extra distance readers will also be installed at the Main Gate in Nelson Mandela Drive.
 
Please note that the dual-frequency card is needed only when you enter the campus with a vehicle and you want to activate the distance reader. All the older cards will continue to work at the tag readers. 

5. Use alternative gates

At times, some of the gates carry more traffic than others, especially with the peak morning and afternoon traffic. Gates with less traffic include:

  • The gate in Badenhorst Street
  • The gate in DF Malherbe Drive
  • The gate in Nelson Mandela Drive

You are welcome to make use of one of these alternative gates.

6. Pedestrians

No pedestrian will be able to enter the Bloemfontein Campus without a valid access card. If you have left your card at home or have lost it, you should enter the campus at the gate in DF Malherbe Drive where the Visitors Centre is situated. You will be referred to the Visitors Centre where you can apply for a day visitor’s card. You will still need to produce a formal identification document (e.g. ID book, driver's licence).

7. More information

Email: visitorscentre@ufs.ac.za
Visitors Centre front desk: Tel: +27 51 401 7766 (Mondays-Fridays 07:45-16:30)
Card Division: Tel: +27 51 401 2799 (Mondays-Fridays 07:45-16:30)
Protection Services duty room: +27 51 401 2634 (24 hours)

 

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