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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

Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture – Reflections of a historical icon
2015-04-28

The Annual Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture was held at the Bloemfontein Campus on 22 April, 2015 hosted by the Faculty of Law in collaboration with the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality. 

The theme of this year’s lecture was “Pillars of The Constitution”.  In his keynote address, the Executive Mayor of Mangaung, Cllr Thabo Manyoni described the exemplary life of Bram Fischer and the incredible sacrifice he made for the emancipation of the people of South Africa by his opposition to a system of injustice.

He further described the character of Bram Fischer as one of outstanding leadership that was close to the hearts of the people: “Bram Fischer sincerely believed in the foundation laid in Jefferson’s “all men are born equal”. This idea was later articulated in the Freedom Charter’s preamble “that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people”, he said.

The lecture was attended by the university community, members of the public, and the Fischer family.  This was one in a series of lectures held in Bloemfontein throughout the memorial week. Some of the speakers include; Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Caroline Nicholson, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof Neels Swanepoel, who introduced the Department of Public Law, and Lindokuhle Ntuli, who introduced the recently re-opened Student Court.

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