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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

Three minutes for research
2015-08-19

Sixty-three researchers, three minutes each. This is the Three-Minute-Thesis competition (3MT) for master’s and doctoral students countrywide, presented by the Postgraduate School at the University of the Free State.

For the first time, this international competition will be presented on a national level in South Africa, with students from more than ten of the most prominent universities in the country taking part. During the competition, each researcher has to give a presentation on his/her research in three minutes.

Mr Katleho Nyaile, the competition organiser, says the 3MT is part of the Postgraduate School’s initiative to highlight and to boost postgraduate research.

The 3MT competition originated at the University of Queensland, Australia. Since its inception in 2010, it has developed into an international trend. Currently, the 3MT is presented in Australia, the USA, and the UK.

For the competition, participants are given only three minutes to explain their research. In this short time, they have to explain not only the problem and the methodology, but also why this research is important. Participants are allowed to make use of only one piece of static imaging material for support.

“It is not only great fun, but also a learning opportunity for the researchers. The competition supports the capacity of the researchers to convey the essence of their theses effectively. This is something that researchers sometimes find very difficult.”

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