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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 International Studies Group makes history come alive globally
2015-07-15

The UFS International Studies Group comprises students who are top achievers drawn from South Africa, Southern and Central Africa and even further afield.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Headed by Prof Ian Phimister, the UFS International Studies Group comprises six master’s, twelve PhD and twelve postdoctoral fellows who concentrate their research endeavours on African, Imperial and Global History. All of these students are top achievers drawn from South Africa, Southern and Central Africa and even further afield. This group, now only in its third year, presents a phenomenal research output with an international reach.

In the course of the past year alone, five PhD students secured fully-funded invitations to conferences and research seminars in South Africa, Britain, as well as the Netherlands. Our researchers have been publishing articles globally and securing visiting fellowships and research awards.

Dr Clement Masakure and Dr Rosa Williams won funding to present papers at the International Network for the History of Hospitals. Tinashe Nyamunda won a prestigious three-month Cadbury Fellowship at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Anusa Daimon has been selected as a 2015 Harry Guggenheim award winner, which covers workshop attendance in Nairobi, Kenya.

From among the group, twelve articles have been published or accepted for publication in refereed scholarly journals, as well as four chapters in edited books. Book reviews written by these highly-motivated graduate students, have appeared or will appear in leading national and international academic journals. Remarkably, seven book reviews appearing in one particular issue of African Studies Review, were written by this group. Four scholarly monographs have recently been published, or soon will be. One PhD student is the joint editor (with a senior Canadian academic) of a forthcoming study on Zimbabwe’s controversial Marange diamond mining industry.

Another outstanding researcher, Dr Lindie Koorts, won the award for the best debut writer at the 2014 Woordfees for her book ‘DF Malan and the Rise of Afrikaner Nationalism’ – the first non-fiction writer to achieve this. Her book now appears on the longlist for the 2015 Alan Paton Award.

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