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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

Training in critical medical skills receives preference at the UFS
2015-07-24

The UFS bought a new simulator for surgeons to learn how to perform laparoscopic operations. During the launch of the simulator, Dr Mathys Labuschagne (left), Head of the Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit, illustrates to Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the faculty, how the simulator works.
Photo: Rene-Jean van der Berg

The Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit in the University of the Free State (UFS) Faculty of Health Sciences purchased a new laparoscopic simulator for R1.2 million recently. The simulator will be used to teach postgraduate medical students how to perform laparoscopic surgery. The UFS is currently the only university in the country, and one of only two institutions in South Africa, that own such a simulator.

The Lapsim simulator, from Surgical Science in Sweden, is a highly sophisticated computerised tool for the training and improvement of laparoscopic surgical skills in postgraduate students within the surgical disciplines.

“The purpose of a simulator is not to replace training on patients, but to help registrars in acquiring basic laparoscopic surgical skills,” says Dr Mathys Labuschagne, Head of the Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit.

These skills include depth perception, hand-eye-coordination, instrument handling, precision and speed, which are essential before operations can be performed on patients.

Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, says this simulator is very important for the UFS to train registrars more effectively in theatre work.

“Not only registrars will benefit from this, but qualified surgeons may also make use of it to improve their skills.”

The simulator is pre-programmed for different medical conditions that laparoscopic surgery is traditionally used for. Programmes can be selected for procedures such as sterilisation, cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal), endometriosis, etc. The simulator even makes it possible simply to practise eye-hand coordination, and to apply stitches internally.

Watch the short video explaining more about the Lapsim simulator.

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