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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

“Breakthroughs depend on people believing in their own ideas”
2015-07-23


TED is a renowned international non-profit organisation dedicated to disseminating “ideas worth spreading” in the form compelling talks lasting up to 18 minutes.

Lerothodi Molete’s vision is to witness the youth of Bloemfontein emerge at the forefront of technological, scientific, and entrepreneurial innovations in both South Africa and the global arena.

 

Molete and Bonginkosi Leeuw are the organisers of TEDxUFS. Their duty is centered on inspiring people to believe in, and express, their ideas. These University of the Free State students have taken it upon themselves to inspire the youth to “push the boundaries of society.”

 

The second TEDxUFS event to be hosted by the university presents a unique opportunity for students, staff members, and the general public to mingle with influential speakers from across various disciplines.

 

Details of the event:

 

Date: Saturday 1 August 2015

Time: 08:00- 18:00

Venue: Albert Wessels Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus

 

The keynote speakers include: Mmusi Maimane (Federal Leader: Democratic Alliance), Gareth Cliff (Radio personality: Cliff Central), Pieter Geldenhuys (Futurist), Brian Kally (Director: Arrow Logistics), Jonathan Jansen (Vice-Chancellor and Rector: UFS), Ricardo Peach (Director: Vrystaat Arts Festival, Pamela Nomvete (Former actor and writer), Gil Oved (Founder: Creative Counsel), Pepe Marais (CEO: Joe Public), Angelo Mockie (Senior Officer: Student Affairs and musician), Philippa Tumubweinee (Senior Lecturer in Architecture: UFS), and Melody Mentz (Psychology Senior Professor: UFS).

 

The reason behind the #AskWhy theme

 

"Why is a small word but it’s a quick, broad, sharp and abrupt one,” explains Leeuw. “It is the chosen word of the non-conformist, the defiant, and the visionary. It is a confrontational word. It challenges what is thought to be impossible.”

 

The ability to interrogate reality is what society and economies are built on. The absence of the fear to question encourages the capacity to progress.

 

Motivating young people to follow their dreams is the reason why the TEDxUFS team is persistent in their endeavours. Molete believes that, in order to change anything, people need to ask why.

 

Background of the innovation powerhouse called TED(x)

 

TED is a renowned international non-profit organisation dedicated to disseminating “ideas worth spreading” in the form compelling talks lasting up to 18 minutes.

 

In 1984, it was introduced as a conference exploring Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Three decades later, TED covers a wide variety of topics of global significance, reflecting the contemporary era in more than 100 languages.

 

TEDx events are under the TED umbrella. These events are organised independently, and create a platform for deliberating on local matters. The programme assists communities, organisations, and individuals to stimulate critical dialogue.

 

On 25 July 2014, the UFS hosted its inaugural TEDxUFS conference at the Odeion theatre on the Bloemfontein Campus, where eleven speakers addressed an audience of 150 people on interdisciplinary topics ranging from economics to entrepreneurship, technology, art, design, and theology.

 

This year, 200 seats will be available for innovative revolutionary individuals in search of inspiration.

 

Tickets are available at 0619284253 / 079 381 4126. Prices: R80 (Student/scholars) and R350 (Public/staff)

 

LINKS:

Lerothodi Molete- http://whoswho.co.za/lerothodi-molete-742022

Bonginkosi Leeuw- https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/10499

TEDxUFS- http://kovsielife.ufs.ac.za/templates/archive.aspx?news=276

Mmusi Maimane- http://whoswho.co.za/mmusi-maimane-44612

Garett Cliff- http://www.garethcliff.com/

Pieter Geldenhuys- http://pietergeldenhuys.com/

Brian Kally- https://za.linkedin.com/pub/brian-kally/4b/888/959

Jonathan Jansen- http://www.ufs.ac.za/adhoc-pages/rectorate/prof-(jd)-jonathan-jansen

Ricardo Peach- http://ricardopeach.com/

Pamela Nomvete- http://whoswho.co.za/pamela-nomvete-4789

Gil Ovid- https://za.linkedin.com/pub/gil-oved/3/910/892

Pepe Marais- http://joepublic.co.za/people

Angelo Mockie- https://za.linkedin.com/pub/angelo-mockie/27/56/302

PhilippaTumubweinee- http://natagri.ufs.ac.za/templates/staffmember.aspx?DCode=101&pid=zyNJm7KI%2b1k%3d

Melody Mentz- https://za.linkedin.com/in/melodymentz

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