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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

Students have a responsibility in SA, says Ntuli
2016-02-19

Description: 2016 SRC presidents Tags: 2016 SRC presidents

Lindokuhle Ntuli (left), President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), and Paseka Sikhosana, president of the SRC on the Qwaqwa Campus, are in agreement about their vision for the UFS in 2016.
Photo: Johan Roux

You and I have a role to play in building the new South Africa built upon the Constitution of 1996.

These are the words of Lindokuhle Ntuli, President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). They echo his and the SRC’s message of a “campus for all students, locally and internationally, irrespective of colour.”

Ntuli and Paseka Sikhosana, president of the SRC on the Qwaqwa Campus, were in agreement about their vision for the UFS in 2016.

According to Sikhosana, a well-known slogan accentuates a feeling of uniqueness at the university. “United in diversity. No wonder we say only a Kovsie knows a feeling,” he says.

“As the SRC, we believe that complete transformation on campus is through promoting a non-sexist, non-racial, but democratic student society that acknowledges diversity and change. That further promotes and embraces one student’s difference in terms of culture, tradition, religion, and sexual orientation.”

A new South Africa

Ntuli means students have a responsibility. He referred to a quotation from Frantz Fanon’s book, The Wretched of the Earth, to illustrate this. Fanon was a revolutionary and writer whose works are influential in post-colonial studies. “Every generation has a mission. It is the responsibility of every generation to discover its mission. Once you have discovered it, you have to fulfil it or betray it into relative obscurity,” Ntuli quoted.

According to him, the South African Constitution holds pious promises of a better life for all, and each citizen needs to help to achieve that.

SRC has open door policy 

Ntuli says the UFS remains committed to human embrace, diversity, integration, and human togetherness. He added that the SRC has an open door policy, and will avail itself in helping students.

According to Sikhosana, it is the objective of the SRC to represent the student community in all interactions within the university and externally.

“There is nothing for us, about us, without us students,” he says.

• The above excerpts have been taken from Ntuli and Sikhosana’s respective welcoming speeches to first-year students on the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses.

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