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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

Team UFS flexes its debating muscles
2015-08-07


Photo: Nkahiseng Ralepeli debates his way to the finals of the English as a First Language category at the UCT Open.

Team UFS flexes its debating muscles

Friday 24 July 2015 marks the day when the University of the Free State Debating Society (UFDS) outperformed the University of Cape Town (UCT) at the UCT 150th anniversary celebration of its debating union.

Representing Kovsies were Zola Valashiya, Ntsapi ‘Neko, Nkahiseng Ralepeli, Lehakoe Masedi, and Thabang Thembani, who fought bravely for a spot in the finals.

Masedi and Ralepeli broke into the semifinals after seven preliminary rounds, eventually winning the competition. The two students were up against three UCT teams, comprising the current National Champions and Pan African finalists.

This follows the debaters’ outstanding performance at the 2015 South African National University Debating Championship (SANUDC), hosted by the University of Venda. The UFDS commemorated a decade in existence by participating in its 10th national tournament.

After nine preliminary rounds, two teams broke into the grand finals of the two categories: English as a second language (ESL) and English as a first language (EFL). Devon Watson and Nkahiseng Ralepeli were the EFL team who fought their way through to the finals, beating UCT and the University of Botswana.

The inaugural Wits Women’s Debate Open (2014) title holders, Lerato Leteane and Lehakoe Masedi, represented Kovsies as the ESL finalists against the University of Nambia. The ladies rose to the occasion, but eventually emerged just one point short of the Namibian team’s four-point win.

Nonetheless, they were satisfied with their competitive skills, utilising the platform to address the lack of female debaters in the Southern African debating circuit.

 

 

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