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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

UFS Department of Computer Science and Informatics motivates programming success among learners
2015-04-23

From Sentraal High School are from the left: Albert Dreyer (full marks, Grade 9); Corlé van der Walt (full marks, Grade 10); Janco Venter (full marks, Grade 10); Soné du Pisanie (full marks, Grade 10) en Handré Venter (Grade 9).

A group of learners from the Free State, who are taught at and by the University of the Free State’s Department of Computer Science and Informatics (under the Python project), came first in the Talent Search round of the South African Computer Olympiad (SACO).

According to Dr Anelize van Biljon, senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Informatics, the Olympiad is presented in three main rounds: the Talent Search, the Application Olympiad, and the Programming Olympiad.

At the UFS’s Department of Computer Science and Informatics’ Python project, pupils from various schools in Bloemfontein attend programming classes where they are taught by staff and students of the department. These students are benefitted by the opportunity to transfer their knowledge to others. All the classes are free of charge.

Anelize explains: “The name was chosen because we use the Python programming language. It is a language with considerable appeal – not one of the fastest – which can be learnt relatively quickly, and which conforms to SACO requirements. The purpose of this programming is to implement algorithms (the learner is given a problem, makes a plan to solve it, and does the necessary programming). Thus, it is not about the looks of the programme, but about its effectiveness and speed.”
Anelize is the initialiser and co-ordinator of the Python project. "I started this project in 2010 in the Department of Computer Science and Informatics for learners from Grades 6 to 12 to encourage them to take the subject. These classes exposed them to something more than school work. I enjoy this kind of competitions and am also very involved with Maths Olympiads.

Achievements such as these are good advertisements for the Department of Computer Science and Informatics,” she said.

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