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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

Professor awarded by Cardiff University for exceptional teaching and research record
2015-10-20

Prof Pieter Duvenage
Cardiff University is one of the best research universities in the United Kingdom (UK) and the world. In 2014, Cardiff was ranked number 2 and 5 among UK universities in the Research Excellence Framework for impact and quality, respectively.

Annually, Cardiff selects and recruits the most outstanding teachers and researchers from across the globe. This year, this institution bestowed on Professor Pieter Duvenage the title of Honorary Professorship in Political Philosophy for his contribution and commitment to philosophical research in South Africa and internationally. Prof Duvenage is Head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Prof Duvenage has authored and co-authored four books, publishing almost 40 accredited articles in journals and books. As a distinguished scholar, he displays immense dedication to the investigation of the political implications of intellectual traditions.

Since 1997, Prof Duvenage has been lecturing philosophy as an associate professor, full professor, or visiting professor at various South African and Australian universities. He was appointed as Head of the Department of Philosophy in 2011, where he continues to explore his interests in Phenomenology, Critical Theory, and South African Intellectual History.

His rich academic history had earned him the prestigious five-year Honorary Professorship at Cardiff’s Department of Politics.  In 2014, the same university invited Prof Duvenage to be a Professorial Fellow of the Collingwood and British Idealism Centre for an indefinite period.

Professor David Boucher, Director of the Collingwood and British Idealism Centre, has played a crucial role in initiating both processes. According to Prof Duvenage, “Professor Boucher is a respected British academic and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg.”

When Boucher announced the good news, Prof Duvenage was very surprised. “The appointment came as a total surprise. I never studied there [at Cardiff University], therefore it was purely through academic networks.”

Considering Cardiff’s reputation and Prof Duvenage’s exceptional skill sets and values, his relationship with the world-leading university in research is bound to blossom.

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