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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.

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KovsieSport celebrates three varsity tournaments' titles
2015-04-21

Both staff and students celebrated the Shimlas, KovsieTennis, and KovsieNetball’s achievements.
Photos: Hannes Pieterse

 

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In this week of graduation ceremonies, the University of the Free State had more than its academic achievements to celebrate. The Shimlas’ brilliant triumph in the Varsity Cup as well as the achievements by KovsieTennis and Kovsie Netball was celebrated at a colourful event on the Bloemfontein Campus.

At the celebrations, which were well supported by the campus community, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, congratulated all three teams on their outstanding achievements. Not only did the Shimlas walk off with the Varsity Cup, they also won every game they played. AJ Coertzen, the Shimlas’ captain, said: “Although we were well prepared and physically fit, the fact that we played for one another contributed much to our success. As a team, we have grown from friends to brothers.”

KovsieTennis was congratulated on wearing the USSA tennis crown for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, they have the following triumphs to their name: 2007 – SASSU (South African Students Sports Union) (Ladies); 2008 – USSA (University Sport South Africa) (Ladies) and 2009 USSA (Men). Duke Munroe, captain of the KovsieTennis team took the opportunity to thank the team personnel. He believes that hard work behind the scenes by the coach, Marnus Kleinhans, and the team manager, Janine de Kock, contributed greatly to the team’s success.

KovsieNetball was also praised for their successes. In 2014, under the captaincy of Karla Mostert, they won gold at the Varsity Netball championships. They also won the National Premier League. The UFS is also proud of its netball players in various national teams: SA Under 19-23, the Protea groups, and the SA University team.

At the celebrations, Karla said: “The environment and the people you surround yourself with dictate how easily you achieve success. Our achievements and successes are evidence of the quality of the coaches, supporters, and facilities available to us.

After the event on the Red Square, the teams made an appearance in the Callie Human Centre, where they were enthusiastically congratulated by graduands, their families and the university management. Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the UFS, also praised the teams for their achievements. “You are a team without individual stars. That is the sort of team I want to be part of.”

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