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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

Internet Broadcast Project grabs attention of Commonwealth – and yet another award
2015-07-28


 
Learn more about the Internet Broadcast Project and its impact on learners’ lives

The Internet Broadcast Project (IBP) has brought yet another international award to the University of the Free State (UFS). This project – which is changing the lives of Free State school learners – has won second place in the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards, a huge achievement considering that the IBP was chosen from 89 submissions entered by a total of 20 countries belonging to the Commonwealth.

This latest award comes close on the heels of another international award that was presented to the IBP recently. In April 2015, the project was the winner of the 2015 Enterprise Video Award (EVA) in the category Video in Education Scholarship. This makes it two in a row, since the IBP also won an EVA in 2014 for Innovation in Pedagogy.

 

Mr Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, presenting the second-place prize for the Commonwealth Good Practice Awards to Sarietjie Musgrave, Head: ICTISE (ICT in School Education) on behalf of ICTISE.
Photo: Peter Ramsay

Live broadcast at no cost to schools
The IBP – presented from the UFS South Campus – makes use of the best teachers to broadcast lessons to school learners who do not have access to quality education. More than 10 subjects are broadcast live, via VSAT Internet Access, to 70 centres across the province. The technology provided at each school allows learners to communicate with the presenter in the studio during broadcast at no cost to the school or learner.

“Through the IBP,” says Sarietjie Musgrave, Head: ICTISE (ICT in School Education), “we aim to bring quality education to each and every learner, regardless of their socio-economic status or geographical location, while delivering cost-effective continuous teacher professional development directly relevant to the Free State community we serve.”

Making a positive difference
The Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards honour education programmes that have made a positive difference to the status and condition of school children, teachers, or the education system in their countries. The IBP was lauded for its excellence in six of the Action Areas of Good Practices:

• Relevance
• Measurable impact and effect
• Sustainability
• Efficiency and effectiveness
• Community participation
• Replication

“Receiving this international award,” says Musgrave, “shows that we are having an impact worldwide.”

 

 

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