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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

SA Academy for Science and Arts honours two from the UFS
2015-04-15

From the left are: Prof Johann du Preez (UFS),  Prof Barry Frey (retired Dean of the Faculty of Environmental and Health Sciences, CUT), Prof Nico Smit (NWU), Prof Leslie Brown (Unisa), Ms Alechea Engelbrecht (UFS), and Prof Jo van As (UFS).
Photo: Supplied

The SA Academy for Science and Arts has honoured Professors Jo van As and Johann du Preez from the University of the Free State, together with academics from two other universities, Prof Nico Smit (North-West University) and Prof Leslie Brown (Unisa).

The medal of honour from the SA Academy’s Faculty of Science and Technology has been awarded to the four researchers for their book, Die verhaal van lewe en die omgewing: 'n Afrika-perspektief.

In 2012, this book was published in English as The Story of Life and the Environment: an African Perspective. From the outset, the project was meant to be published also in Afrikaans, specifically to make ecology as discipline available to students and nature lovers in Afrikaans.

The book is in full colour and has over 750 colour photos and nearly 200 illustrations specially designed to explain processes and systems.

The medal is awarded for achievements in, and contributions to, the furthering and development of a particular area in the natural sciences.

The authors, who are established researchers in the natural and life sciences, make a valuable contribution in an accessible yet scientific manner. The book conveys previously difficult-to-understand concepts in an interesting way to the ordinary reader.

The award ceremony will take place on 24 June 2015 in Stellenbosch.

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