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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

UFS casts its net wider for collaborative partner engagement
2015-10-19

Ms Felicia Mabuza-Suttle and Mr Ndaba Ntsele

The office of Institutional Advancement at the University of the Free State hosted an event on 9 October 2015 in Johannesburg, to engage prospective partners and donors, to showcase its various projects and programmes, and to recognise existing donors for their contributions.

The event, titled “Revenge of the Caterpillar”, prompted a discussion on the story of change at the University of the Free State, focusing on transformation as well as new ways of advancing a University amidst recent events.

The programme director, Mr Ndaba Ntsele, CEO and Director of Pamodzi Holdings and member of the UFS Council, introduced the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, to the audience. Mr Ntsele expressed his deep respect and confidence in the Vice-Chancellor and his leadership of the university.

Professor Jansen launched his new book, Leading for Change: Race, intimacy, and leadership on divided university campuses, which offers theoretical grounds for thinking about, and transforming, leadership and higher education worldwide. In the context of his book, Prof Jansen discussed inter-racial relationships among students at the UFS and their experiences, which mirror race relations in the country among communities that have come out of a long history of oppression, such as slavery and apartheid.

Prof Jansen also spoke of the challenges that have surfaced nationally on racial symbols on university campuses. “At the UFS, we have dealt with issues concerning racial symbolism.  It is important to lead in times of peace, in order to be able to lead in times of trouble,” he said.

A robust discussion followed, on the way forward for transformation at institutions of higher education, and how this affects communities and the nation at large.   The event was attended by representatives of donor and affiliate organisations of the UFS, such the Nedbank Group, The South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, and celebrity guests such as Gareth Cliff, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle and Leanne Manas.



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