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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

TEDxUFS conference - the highlight of the university’s innovative calendar
2015-08-11


Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance with co-organisers of TEDxUFS Bonginkosi Leeuw and Lerothodi Molete after his inspirational talk at the event.
Photo: Curtis Nhlamulo Mashimbye

This year’s TEDxUFS speaker lineup persuaded the audience unanimously to question the nature of reality. The Albert Wessels Auditorium on the Bloemfontein Campus was packed with about 200 attendees on Saturday 1 August 2015.

Speakers shared a multiplicity of profound theories and inquisitions, challenging society in general to think out of the box. Melody Mentz, Gil Oved, Ricardo Peach, Pamela Nomvete, Pepe Marais, Mmusi Maimane, Brian Kally, Pieter Geldenhuys, Philippa Tumubweinee, Gareth Cliff, and Angelo Mockie took on to the stage to tackle multidisciplinary concepts as part of the broad ‘Ask Why’ theme.

Innovation mouthpieces share their worldview

Pieter Geldenhuys, the internationally-renowned futurist and Director of the Institute for Technology Strategy, and Innovation proposed that we change our mindsets by neglecting predictability. “We need to look at different models to understand the world around us,” he said. He challenged the linear and familiar ways humans make sense of the universe.

Speaking to the dire need for transformation, Philippa Tumubweinee suggested that university spaces merge with the communities they serve in terms of policies, social atmosphere, and physical structure. Tumubweinee is a senior Lecturer at the Department of Architecture at our university, and co-Founder and Director of Izuba In Africa architects.

“Only we can give permission to be intimidated; so don’t give in,” said Brian Kally, the CEO of Arrow Logistics (Pty) Ltd. Kally underscored the power of believing in our individual ideas.

Guidelines from TEDxUFS organisers

Bonginkosi Leeuw: “If you take your brainchild and implement it, and make it a reality, that’s when you can achieve great things, not before that.”

Lerothodi Molete: “You should ask questions; the moment you ask the question you will understand more.”

Real-time social media feedback

These are some of the comments audience members published on Twitter at the event:

IG: mispertanzy ?@MiesperTanzy  Aug 1

A huge shout-out to @TEDxUFS for hosting such a great conference!The team has really made the event an unmissable one on the UFS calendar.

Celebrabitur? ?@HatsuMphatsoe  Aug 1

Proximity that allows us to experience our broader society. Truly engaged by Philippa Tumbweinee's talk! @TEDxUFS

TEDxJohannesburg ?@TEDxJoburg  Aug 1

A big shoutout to @TEDxUFS from for a fantastic event. Wish we were there.

RicardoPeach ?@ricardopeach  Aug 1

Africa is rich with potential  #TEDXUFS @MmusiMaimane Yes!

 

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