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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

Judge Ian van der Merwe unanimously re-elected as Chairperson of the UFS Council for a third term
2015-09-23


Judge Ian van der Merwe

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously re-elected Judge Ian van der Merwe as its Chairperson for another three years at its meeting on Friday 11 September 2015, which took place on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Judge Van der Merwe serves as Judge of the Free State High Court. He is an alumnus of the UFS and has been a member of the Council since 9 March 2007.

In accepting his re-election, Judge Van der Merwe said that he was honoured and grateful for the support. “I will do my best not to disappoint the Council and will do what is in the best interest of the UFS,” he said.

“The UFS is privileged to have in the person of Judge Van der Merwe a man of great public standing and a wealth of experience in the governance of universities, to continue to lead the Academic and Human Projects of the institution at such a critical moment in the history of South Africa”, said Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

Judge van der Merwe was elected as Chairperson of the UFS Council during a meeting on 20 November 2009 and was unanimously re-elected for a second term on 16 November 2012. His third term will commence on 1 January 2016.


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