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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

Panel to discuss: 'Speaking wounds: voices of Marikana widows through art and narrative' on Monday 27 July 2015
2015-07-24

The massacre of 34 mine workers at Marikana on 16 August 2012 had South Africans in uproar. But what remained, after the razor wire was rolled up and the camera crews left, were 34 widows engulfed in silent despair. That was until the Khulumani Support Group introduced them to the transformative power of art and storytelling. In the last installment of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series for this year, a panel of speakers will discuss these widows’ journey with the theme of ‘Speaking wounds: voices of Marikana widows through art and narrative’.

Panel

The panel will consist of members from the Khulumani Support Group that include Dr Marjorie Jobson (National Director), Nomarussia Bonase (National Organiser), and Judy Seidman (Sociologist and Graphic Artist). Nomfundo Walaza, who is the former CEO of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, will be the respondent.

Details of the event:
Date: Monday 27 July 2015
Time: 12:00
Venue: Chancellor's Room, Centenary Complex, Bloemfontein Campus
RSVP: Nomusa Mthethwa at Nomusam@ufs.ac.za (Members of the public are welcome to attend.)

Body maps
An art exhibition consisting of body maps created by the widows will also be on display. These paintings quietly portray the turmoil of their inner landscapes, their perceptions of the massacre, and the impact these events had on their lives.



Collaboration
The lecture series is hosted by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Senior Research Professor in Trauma, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation Studies at the University of the Free State (UFS), as part of a five-year research project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This installment of the lecture series is presented in collaboration with the UFS Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice.


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