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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

DiMTEC and insurance industry join forces to address the vulnerability of communal and commercial farmers
2015-09-18

At the workshop on index-based insurance for the
agricultural sector were, from the left:
Dr Andries Jordaan, Johan van den Bergh,
Bertus Kruger and Henk Vermeulen.

The United Nations identified climate resilience as a major focus for future development to ensure a safer world for all. Tailor-made insurance and financial products ought to address the needs of the most vulnerable.

Recent research done by the Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC) at the University of the Free State on the vulnerability of communal and commercial farmers to external shocks highlighted the importance of insurance as an important disaster risk transfer tool. Insurance is generally unavailable to most vulnerable groups, such as communal farmers, small-holding farmers, and new commercial farmers.

For these reasons, DiMTEC invited the insurance industry and other experts to a workshop with the purpose of investigating the development of risk transfer products, especially for drought. They were the hosts of a workshop entitled “Global Resilience through Insurance and Index-Based Risk Transfer Products (IBRTP)”.

Bertus Kruger from Agriseker and Johan van der Berg from SANTAM, together with other experts, attended the workshop facilitated by Dr Andries Jordaan, Head of DiMTEC.

The group attending the workshop, agreed on the following:

- Establishing a UFS-DiMTEC-led research team to investigate the feasibility of index insurance products.
- Mobilising government support to develop risk transfer products for the most vulnerable.
- Initiating forum discussions on risk transfer products.
- Promoting collaboration between the private sector, government, and research institutions with the focus on resilience-building through financial and insurance products.

 

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