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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

Prof Jeffrey Sachs presented with honorary doctorate at Spring Graduation Ceremony
2015-10-01

Prof Jeffrey Sachs (centre) with Prof Philippe Burger,
Head of Department: Economics (left), and
Prof HJ Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and
Management Sciences (right).

Photo: Charl Devenish

“Quality education is the best accelerator for sustainable growth. Universities have a unique role to play in this regard,” Prof Jeffrey Sachs said during a lecture he presented at the University of the Free State (UFS) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. He gave an insightful overview of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The 17 SDGs replace the Millennium Development goals of the past 15 years. In a major achievement, 193 countries will sign the goals at the United Nations (UN) in New York on 25 September 2015.

Prof Sachs is the director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet professor of Sustainable Development, and professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also a special advisor to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, and director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Another accolade now added to his résumé is an honorary doctorate in Economics conferred on him by the UFS at the Spring Graduation Ceremony on 17 September 2015 for outstanding achievements and contribution to academia.

“South Africa is not achieving sustainable development. It has the highest inequality in the world with high unemployment among the youth. Quality education is the best accelerator for growth,” Prof Sachs said. He used the high education investment in Korea as an example of that country’s growth. Prof Sachs added that the government cannot achieve the SDGs on its own. “It is important for the country and universities to take on the goals. Universities can apply pressure, influence and provide solutions.”

 

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