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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

Walking and running routes launched on UFS Bloemfontein Campus
2015-09-16

Photo: Hatsu Mphatsoe

On Casual Day, Friday 4 September 2015, the UFS Health and Wellness Centre and KovsieSport launched a healthy lifestyle on the Bloemfontein Campus with the focus on Walking and Running routes. The theme of the event was set by the many flying tutus, together with outrageous outfits that were to be seen in the crowd of anxious and excited runners.

There are a total of six walking and jogging routes, stretching over the central and western parts of the Bloemfontein Campus. Colour-coded arrows indicate the various routes, ranging from a three-kilometre route (green) to an eight-kilometre route (black). The 2,5 km route is accessible for people with wheelchairs.
 
According to Arina Engelbrecht, who is spearheading the Wellness programme, a board will be erected in front of the Callie Human Centre later on, explaining the various routes. All the routes start and finish at the Callie Human Centre.

This initiative is receiving support from management, who requested that a healthy lifestyle be encouraged amongst students and staff. With this project, staff and students can train and exercise in a safe environment. The routes are also wheelchair friendly, and will be expanded to cycle routes in the future.

Various departments showed their support in numbers, bringing together teams that competed. Staff and students were excited to see what bends and turns lay ahead of them on the trails. Prof Nicky Morgan: Vice-Rector: Operations, cut the ribbon at the official opening of the routes. Morgan himself was extremely excited about the event, as he navigated his way energetically between the runners and walkers.

In his opening speech, Pieter du Plessis, Executive Assistant to the Vice-Rector: Operations, talked about the importance of keeping healthy by doing something as simple as walking, an inexpensive method of keeping healthy.

Arina commented: “We received some great feedback from the masses that attended, and many said they will continue to make use of the routes.”
 
This event forms part of the human project of the UFS, and will also create awareness amongst staff and students about persons with disabilities.

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