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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

SRC raises over R1 million for UFS underprivileged students
2016-01-18

R1.2 million has been raised by the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Student Representative Council (SRC) under the Right to Learn (R2L) campaign banner.

The SRC launched the R2L campaign on 30 October 2015,following the first wave of the #FeesMustFall movement protests against a proposed increase in tuition fees. The campaign was initiated to ensure that academically-deserving underprivileged students do not have to bear the brunt of deregistration, food insecurity, and the lack of textbooks.

To date, the student leaders have taken it upon themselves to appeal to lecturers, businesses, the community, and students alike to support its campaign. Each SRC member pledged R500 from their own purses when the campaign was launched.

Looking back at the #FeesMustFall movement

To the #FeesMustFall movement, which had gained momentum and resulted in a shutdown of many campuses across the country, President Jacob Zuma responded with a statement announcing a 0 % increase.

At the launch of the campaign, Lindokuhle Ntuli, the UFS SRC President, made a commitment to source financial aid for needy students.

“Even though the president said no fees will increase this year, we are still faced with the same challenges. No students who qualify should be de-registered this year. It is up to us to raise funds for the poor students to ensure that they get their right to education.”

Forward to the future: #AccessMustRise

By 4 April 2016, the SRC’s goal is to accumulate financial relief worth R5 million to counter the growing financial aid demand.

Given that more South Africans are extending a helping hand, the SRC President is adamant about gathering the sponsorships in two months. “It is possible if we push to market the campaign to gather R4.8 million,” said Ntuli.

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