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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

Situation on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus under control after further disruptions
2016-02-23

State of our campuses #8

Further disruptions occurred on the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS today after clashes between students on the campus last night. Members of the Public Order Policing had to disperse some students and the situation was stabilised in the early hours of the morning. No one was arrested and no major injuries occurred.

The clashes erupted last night after a group of protesters moved on to the field and disrupted a Varsity Cup rugby match that was already under way between the FNB Shimlas and the FNB Madibaz at Xerox Shimla Park. Subsequently the protesters were assaulted by some spectators who also ran on to the field.

Disruption continued this morning when students damaged some university property. Additional reinforcements from the South African Police Service were brought in to stabilise the campus. Some outsourced contract workers and students are still demonstrating outside the Main Gate of the campus on Nelson Mandela Avenue. The campus is relatively calm now and matters are under control.
The safety of students in residences on campus is the major concern for the senior leadership of the university and extra care is being taken to ensure their safety. In one case a residence had to be vacated and alternative accommodation was arranged for the students. The situation is under control in other residences. 

The Bloemfontein and South Campuses are closed from 23 to 24 February 2016 and no academic and administrative services are available.

Members of the university’s Protection Services and the South African Police Service are on the Bloemfontein Campus and are monitoring the situation closely.

A comprehensive investigation about the course of events that took place on the Bloemfontein Campus since yesterday morning continues.

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