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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

Diligence to be rewarded at the 2015 Spring Graduation
2015-09-15

The hard work of many students finally comes to fruition with this year’s spring graduation ceremonies taking place on Thursday 17 September 2015 on the Bloemfontein Campus.

A total of 124 diplomas, 419 bachelors and 56 honours degrees will be conferred on graduates from all seven faculties of the University of the Free State (UFS). In addition to the 599 conferrals, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the world-renown American economist, will round out the number to 600 as the recipient of an honorary doctorate.  

The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences wishes to express appreciation for his extensive contribution towards economic, social, and political development across borders with an honorary doctorate in Economics.

Prof Sachs has had a positive impact on global peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights promotion, and governance through various platforms, including being a Special Advisor to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). He also served as the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocate and Commissioner of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Broadband Commission for Development.

In addition, Prof Sachs serves as the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. As an author, he has featured three times on the New York Times bestsellers list, and is the co-founder of the Millennium Promise Alliance, and drives the Millennium Villages Project as its Director.

Graduates should expect words of salutation and encouragement from our main speaker, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university, Prof Jonathan Jansen.

Two ceremonies will take place in the Callie Human Centre at 09:00 and 14:00 respectively. Attendees of the afternoon ceremony will witness the conferment of Prof Sach’s degree. There is a live stream option available on the university’s website to individuals who are unable to attend the ceremonies.


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