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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

Student gives hope to childhood cancer patients
2015-10-16


Siphokuhle Jama believes that the underprivileged are also destined to reign.

The inaugural ‘Dance and Musical Childhood Cancer Fundraising Day’, held on Saturday 26 September 2015 at the Free State Childhood Cancer (CHOC) Foundation, was “a huge success,” according to Siphokuhle Jama, the organiser.

Siphokuhle is a second-year BSc Agricultural Economics student at the University of the Free State (UFS), who has devoted his life to bettering the lives of the less fortunate. The 21-year-old self-proclaimed motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and budding author was inspired by his humble beginnings to found the Destined to Reign Foundation, which champions various community initiatives in both his home town of Mtata and Bloemfontein.

To support the fight against childhood cancer, the young philanthropist took it upon himself to invite music and dance fanatics either to perform or to enjoy spectatorship for a good cause. The impressive support received from the UFS, Universitas Academic Hospital, and Central University of Technology (CUT), various artists, and the community has contributed towards ensuring that the inaugural fundraiser was a prelude to annual events to come.

Singers, dancers, and poets entertained the audience with vigour, making the day one of the most special for the young children, who spend their days and nights at the CHOC House, with little to do but undergo radiation and chemotherapy and await a discharge date. .

All proceeds went towards basic needs, such as food, toiletries, and clothing for the children residing at the House, which is located in the same suburb as our university. In addition to accommodating dozens of cancer patients and their mothers, the House also assists with the treatment and rehabilitation of children suffering from life-threatening blood disorders. Thus, the fundraiser served to promote awareness of these health conditions.

Siphokuhle’s passion for giving hope to the underprivileged was unveiled by a school community engagement project 14 years ago. He has never looked back.“It has always been in my heart to serve my community,” he said.

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