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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

Martie Miranda one of only 10 SATI accredited sign language interpreters in South Africa
2015-04-23

Martie Miranda
Photo: Stefan Lotter

The University of the Free State is privileged to have one of the top South African Sign Language (SASL) Interpreters as a staff member at the Unit for Students with Disabilities (USD).

Martie Miranda recently passed the accreditation exam of the South African Translators Institute (SATI), joining Dr Philemon Akach, previous HOD of the South African Sign Language Department of the UFS, in becoming one of only 10 SASL interpreters to be SATI accredited.

SATI is a professional association for language practice professionals in South Africa. Voluntary accreditation is offered at a professional level, ensuring a high standard of language practice. The system has become widely recognised, and is used as a recommendation or prerequisite for job applications by a number of institutions, including the South African government, particularly after the infamous ‘Jantjies incident’ with the funeral service of the late President Nelson Mandela.

Martie, a proud Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), has 18 years’ experience in SASL interpreting, lip speaking interpreting, and community interpreting as well as 15 years’ experience of conference and seminar interpreting. She boasts a Level 2 Advanced Interpreting qualification, and she has been mentoring Level 1 SASL interpreters for the past six years. Her extensive interpreting experience on a national and international level also includes Deafblind interpreting as well as Court and Legislature interpreting. She has interpreted three theatre productions, and has been coordinating the SASL services at the UFS since January 2009. She is responsible for the student management of all the hearing-impaired students at the USD.

Martie completed her BML degree (cum laude) at the UFS Business School in 2013, and received the award for top achiever in the programme during her final year. She will enrol for her MBA at the UFS Business School in July 2015.

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