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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
2015-10-28

New dates: Campus-wide poll to determine preferences among current staff and students for language models – 29 October to 4 November 2015


Due to the past week’s national #Feesmustfall student protest action, the language poll has been moved to 29 October 2015-4 November 2015 on all three campuses.

The poll will take place at the following venues from 29 October to 4 November 2015, 08:00-16:30, including the weekend:

Bloemfontein Campus:

Kestell Residence Gazellie
(Map from Main Gate to Kestell Residence: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zpxto53qbJos.kvfli1pCFvWQ&usp=sharing

Fish Tank, SRC Building, Thakaneng Bridge

(Map from Main Gate to the SRC Building: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zpxto53qbJos.kJMo3STc445g)

Qwaqwa Campus:

VIP Lounge
(Map from the Main Gate to the VIP Lounge: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zpxto53qbJos.ka4YghcxZVxc&usp=sharing)

South Campus:

Conference Hall
(Map from the Main Gate to the Conference Hall:  https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zpxto53qbJos.klMitM9RWCnA&usp=sharing)


Online option available:

Go to http://www.ufs.ac.za/language to participate. This URL will be active as from Thursday 29 October at 08:00. Staff to log in with their username and password and students to use their UFS credentials (your username is your student number and your password is the one you use to log in on Blackboard).

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 4 December 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.  

To take part in the polling at the allocated venues, 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.

For enquiries send an email to language@ufs.ac.za or call +27(0)51 401 3422.


Q & A:


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