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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

Water Collection Campaign distributes 3 500 bottles in Free State
2016-02-19

 Description: KL News 2016 02 19 Water Tags: KL News 2016 02 19 Water
The Muslim Students Association (MSA), along with the Gift of the Givers Foundation, collected 3 500 5l bottles of water that was distributed to disadvantaged areas within the Free State. From left is Muhammed Bhamjee, President of MSA, Emily Thomas, project manager for Gift of the Givers Foundation, and Grace Jansen, one of the generous donors. Photo: Charl Devenish.

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of the Free State (UFS) took it upon themselves to respond to the regional water crisis being experienced in the Free State. Under the leadership of Muhammed Bhamjee, President of MSA, the association started an initiative to collect water for the purpose of distributing it to disadvantaged areas within the Free State.

The drive started out as just a humble request within the student community, but it gained a great deal of attention from staff, departments, and students from the UFS. The response was overwhelming; 3 500 5l bottles of water were donated.

Amongst the donors were the Student Affairs department and Grace Jansen, wife of Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS. Mrs Jansen said it was important for her to make a contribution: “Even though we are receiving, we need to give as well. Wherever there is a need, we need to be involved.” She believes the project has the ability to grow and gain more attention and support. She believes it needs to grow across communities to solve such problems together.

Bhamjee explains that the MSA has had a relationship with Gift of the Givers Foundation, as they have been running the campaign for quite some time. “We just felt that it’s our responsibility to get involved. Even with the little we can do, every bit counts at the end of the day.” He added that there is also a need to support fellow students at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus.

Emily Thomas, project manager for Gift of the Givers Foundation, applauds the MSA initiative, and encourages students to continue collaborating with the foundation to assist with disaster situations.

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