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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

Thinking stone artist on his way to Italy
2015-04-29

Willem Boshoff

Professor extraordinary at the UFS Department of Fine Art, Willem Boshoff, together with other South African artists, will represent the country next month at the Venice Biennale.

The 56th Biennale takes place between 9 May and 22 November 2015. It is regarded as the world’s most important art event, with 53 countries taking part. This year the artists will take part in the exhibition entitled What remains is Tomorrow, which will take place in the Arsenal complex in the Italian city of Venice, where it will be on view.

Boshoff was responsible for one of the sculptures known as the Thinking Stone, that may be seen in the middle of the Bloemfontein Campus, in front of the Main Building and next to Red Square.

This work consists of a 32-ton black granite block excavated from the Boschpoort stone quarry in Belfast, Mpumalanga. The block has engravings that are copies of the prehistoric rock paintings (also known as petroglyphs) from Driekopseiland (a prehistoric rock art area near Kimberley). Together with the engravings, on the front of the block, there are sand-blasted inscriptions in six languages of verses and well-known quotations that refer to the word “rock”. These inspire further thought and contemplation. Boshoff has created similar works, including Children of the stars, situated at the Cradle of Mankind.

Boshoff is also known for very innovative and conceptual works, and has created various public artworks, both nationally and internationally. His work includes commissions from the University of Johannesburg, The Constitutional Court, the Mpumalanga Legislature in Nelspruit, and South Africa House in London’s Trafalgar Square.

His work focuses regularly on relationships and social interaction. Generally, they are also the subject of subsequent discussions.       

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