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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

Varsity Cup rugby match between FNB Shimlas and FNB NMMU Madibaz disrupted
2016-02-21

State of our campuses #7

The Varsity Cup match between the FNB Shimlas and FNB NMMU Madibaz, which took place on 22 February 2016 at Xerox Shimla Park on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), was interrupted in the 17th minute when a group of protesters moved onto the field to disrupt the game, which was already in progress.
 
The rugby players of both teams, as well as the match officials, immediately cleared the field as the protesters moved across the field towards the halfway line. Members of the UFS Protection Services gathered around the protesters, but were outnumbered. After a few minutes, spectators ran onto the field. The protesters were chased off the field and beaten by the spectators. Injured persons were treated by medical personnel. It is clear at this time that both the protesting group and the spectators included non-students in their ranks.
 
The senior leadership of the UFS condemns in the strongest terms possible the violence against the protesters; nobody has the right to take the law into their own hands. An urgent investigation is underway, using footage from the event, and no stone will be left unturned to identify those who acted violently, whether students or not.


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