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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

Full week of graduation ceremonies at UFS in April
2015-04-10

Autumn always sees the UFS’s first graduation ceremony of the year on the Bloemfontein Campus.

From 14 – 17 April 2015, graduates will once again be rewarded for their hard work while top speakers will address them in the Callie Human Centre. There will be a ceremony at 09:00 and at 14:30 each day on all four days of the graduation.

The programme for the 2015 April Graduation is as follows:

Tuesday 14 April 2015:

Professor Himla Soodyall will be the speaker at both ceremonies on this day. Prof Soodyall is a Medical Scientist for the South African Institute for Medical Research. She is also a Principal Medical Scientist for the National Health Laboratory Service, and a Director for the Human Genome Diversity and Disease Research Unit at the University of Witwatersrand.

During the first ceremony of the day at 09:00, all diplomas/certificates and B degrees in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences will be awarded. Only Honours degrees in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences will be awarded at the 14:30 ceremony.
 
Wednesday 15 April 2015:

Wednesday will see Ndumiso Hadebe take the stage to address graduates at both ceremonies.

At the age of 23, Hadebe is the Founder and Managing Director of Master Frontiers Consulting, a firm that capacitates leaders and managers to achieve business goals through their people. He worked previously as a Researcher at Shanduka Black Umbrellas, a flagship enterprise and supplier development programme of the Shanduka Foundation. 

He has been received numerous awards for excellence in leadership, such as the Sedibeng District Municipal Mayor’s Award for Service and Leadership. He is a Brand South Africa Ambassador and Read Educational Trust Ambassador.

All diplomas/certificates, B and Honours degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, except B Com degrees, will be awarded during the morning ceremony at 09:00. Later, at the 14:30 ceremony, only B Com degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will be awarded.

Thursday 16 April 2015:

Multiple award winning South African TV presenter, Leanne Manas, will be the speaker at both Thursday ceremonies.

Manas has graced our screens for over a decade. Not many broadcasters can boast having had live TV experience, 5 days a week for 12 years. She is currently the anchor of SABC 2’s flagship breakfast programme, Morning Live. Leanne is a qualified Speech and Drama teacher. having studied at London Trinity College. She also has an Honours degree in English.
Diplomas/certificates up to and including Honours degrees in the Faculty of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication Sciences will be awarded during the ceremony at 09:00. The 14:30 ceremony will have diplomas/certificates up to and including Honours degrees in the Faculty of the Humanities’ other qualifications except for Social Sciences and Communication Sciences.
 
Friday 17 April 2015:

Dr Maria Phalime will be the speaker at both ceremonies on Friday.

Phalime is a medical doctor and award-winning author. She practiced for a brief period as a general practitioner in South Africa and the United Kingdom, before leaving medical practice to pursue non-clinical interests. She has worked in trade and investment promotion, and has undertaken research and consulting in the areas of economic development and business facilitation.

Diplomas/certificates up to and including Honours degrees in the Faculty of Education (CE, NPDE and ACE excluded) will be awarded during the ceremony at 09:00. Diplomas/certificates up to and including Honours degrees in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law, and Theology will be awarded at the 14:30 ceremony.

Click here for the simple layout of the 2015 April Graduation programme:
http://www.ufs.ac.za/adhoc-pages/2014-graduation-ceremony/graduation-ceremony

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