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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

Neonatal Care Unit receives donation to expand capacity
2015-10-28

  

With the best care and technology available,
the survival rate of premature
babies is about 85%. The neonatal intensive
care unit at the Universitas hospital can now
expand its capacity thanks to a donation of
R1 million by the Discovery fund.
From the left is Prof André Venter.
Head: Department of Paediatrics and
Child Health at the UFS, and mrs Ruth Lewin,
Head: Corporate Sustainability at Discovery. 

The smallest people need the greatest care. This care is being provided by the neonatal unit in the Children’s Wing of the Universitas Hospital. This project of the University of the Free State (UFS), under the leadership of Prof Andre Venter, has led to several miracles regarding child health since its inception.

Now, thanks to a donation of R1 million rand from the Discovery fund, this unit can expand its capacity and treat more premature babies.

About 14% of babies in South Africa are born before the 37th week of pregnancy. These babies are born with a very low birth weight, and are in need of critical care. The neonatal intensive-care unit at Universitas Hospital is currently equipped to take care of about 14 premature babies at a time, from birth to discharge. However, because of the high incidence of premature births in the hospital’s service area, the unit needs about 45 beds.

The aim of the Children’s Wing Project is to expand the neonatal intensive-care unit in order to meet the demands of the hospital’s service area, which reaches as far as the Southern Cape. The Discovery Fund recently donated R1 million to the project, which will be used to expand the capacity of the neonatal intensive-care unit.

“With the best care and technology available, the survival rate of premature babies is about 85%. Without this, half of all premature babies would die,” says Prof Venter, Head: Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the UFS.

“This is the reason why private and public partnerships, such as the one with Discovery, are essential to make specialised services available to the most vulnerable people. Discovery has made a significant contribution to the project without which we would not have been able to expand the capacity of the unit



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