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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

Campus-wide poll to determine preferences among current staff and students for language models
2015-10-20

Language poll postponed until Thursday 22 October 2015

Due to the closing down of all UFS campuses on Wednesday 21 October 2015, the language poll has been postponed until Thursday 22 October 2015.

 

Invitation to take part in a campus-wide poll to determine preferences among current staff and students for language models.

As mandated by the Council on 5 June 2015, the senior leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) has committed itself to a formal review process of the current language policy through a comprehensive process of consultation with all university stakeholders.

Since 19 August 2015, the following public sessions have taken place across all three campuses:

  • Public dialogue for staff and students, Qwaqwa Campus, 19 August 2015
  • Staff submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 20 August 2015
  • External stakeholder submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 24 August 2015
  • Public dialogue for staff and students, South Campus, 26 August 2015
  • Alumni submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 27 August 2015
  • Expert panel discussion for staff and students with Q&A, Bloemfontein Campus, 31 August 2015
  • Staff, students, and external stakeholder submissions, Qwaqwa Campus, 9 September 2015
  • Panel discussion and public dialogue for students, Bloemfontein Campus, 10 September 2015
  • Expert panel discussion for staff and students with Q&A, Bloemfontein Campus, 11 September 2015
  • Student submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 15 September 2015
  • Staff and student submissions, South Campus, 16 September 2015
  • Convocation submissions, Bloemfontein Campus, 30 September 2015

Further, written and online submissions from the entire university community were put forward until 18 September 2015, while the Convocation had until 30 September 2015 to submit. During the process, the Language Committee has met weekly and discussed the viability, benefits and challenges of various language model options, taking into account institutional, regional, national and global concerns, documents and information.

Following the university’s commitment to open, democratic practice, the UFS calls upon all its current staff and students to participate in a campus-wide poll in order to assist the Language Committee in determining possible preferences among current staff and students for language models. The possible models have emerged from the broad consultation process.

Please note that the campus-wide poll is NOT a formal voting process or referendum and will form only one part of many deciding factors that will be referred to the UFS Council on 20 November 2015 for their deliberations regarding the future of the language policy at the UFS. The poll, conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), will be indicative of the preferences of staff and students for possible language model options, with specific focus on language of instruction. 

The poll will take place at the following venues from 21-28 October 2015, 08:00-16:30, including the weekend:

Bloemfontein Campus: Kestell Residence Gazellie

Qwaqwa Campus: VIP Lounge

South Campus: Conference Hall

To take part in the polling, a valid staff or student card must be produced. Polling will take place on the basis of one poll per current staff member/student.

We look forward to your participation in the poll and hereby thank the entire university community for their ongoing interest and responsible engagement with the review process.

 The UFS Language Committee

 

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