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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

Shimlas: Unbeaten Varsity Cup Champions!
2015-04-14

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    Photo: Johan Roux
    Spotlight Photo: Spektor Photography
    Photo gallery

The UFS Shimlas rugby team made history on Monday 13 April 2015 when they won their first ever Varsity Cup tournament, beating North-West University (NWU) Pukke 63-33 in the final.

Not only did Shimlas make history by winning their first-ever tournament title since the inaugural tournament in 2008, but they did not lose a single game in the 2015 Varsity Cup, thus claiming the cup in front of their home crowd at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein.

Shimlas outscored their traditional intervarsity rivals with nine tries to four. Pukke put the first points on the scoreboard with a penalty kick. The home side started off slowly in the first half. However, Shimlas’ lock, Johan van der Hoogt, did score the first try of the match followed by flyhalf and player that rocks, Niel Marais’s successful conversion kick. Yet, the men from the North-West retaliated full force for the greater part of the first half and, two tries later, had a 18-8 lead over the UFS team. 

Shortly after the first strategy break, Shimlas No.8, Niell Jordaan, crossed the try line following a driving maul, but the visitors received another penalty and succeeded with the kick at goal. The last ten minutes before half time saw Shimlas taking advantage, with the Pukke skipper being sent to the sin bin. Wing Maphutha Dolo hit a gap in NWU’s defense, and scored the try that put Shimlas in the lead again. Not long after, Marais sparked in making a play, offloading to flank Daniel Maartens to score a final try before half time, securing a 26-20 lead.

The second half had not been in play too long when the home side crossed the try line again, scoring their fifth try. Marais was again central in creating the play that saw Shimlas outside centre, Nico Lee, putting the points on the board.

NWU fought back again, scoring a pushover try from a scrum. But Shimlas would not give up the lead again, and a well-timed pass from Marais had Lee crossing the line for his second try.

More Shimlas tries piled up from Marais, Dolo, and Maartens, leaving the Potchefstroom side behind 63-25, giving them little opportunity to score again. One desperate consolation try by Pukke in the final seconds did manage to close the gap on the scoreboard, but it was not nearly enough to snatch the title from the hungry and undefeated Shimlas.

FNB Player that Rocks: Niel Marais
Shimlas point scorers:
Tries: Johan van der Hoogt, Niell Jordaan, Maphutha Dolo (2), Daniel Maartens (2), Nico Lee (2), Niel Marais
Conversions: Niel Marais (6)

 

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