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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

Kovsies champion sprinter sets South African records twice in a row
2015-07-02

Wayde van Niekerk
Photo: Anja Aucamp

On Saturday 13 June 2015, Wayde van Niekerk clocked 44.24 seconds at the 400m finish line of the Diamond League meeting in New York. Van Niekerk’s gold-medal performance improved on his previous South African record of 44.38.

The Kovsies champion sprinter now occupies third position in the world 400m rankings after beating former 400m record holder, Christopher Brown of the Bahamas, whose 44.74 dash earned silver, and United States’ Tony McQuay’s 45.26 won him bronze.

Van Niekerk experienced it as “a good race and a good confidence booster” in light of his forthcoming Diamond League meetings on 4 July in Paris (400m) and 14 July in Lucerne (200m).

The university was made proud recently when Van Niekerk broke the 1986 African record on Sunday 7 June 2015 at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham. He made his mark with a time of 31.63 seconds, thus smashing Ivorian Gabriel Tiacoh’s 31.74.

In a single week, Wayde van Niekerk sets new African record, which placed him in 10th place on the world list in the 300m, and improves on a national record set by South African sprinter, Morné Nagel in 2006.

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