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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

Academic and security arrangements on the Bloemfontein and South Campuses for the coming week
2016-02-28

All academic and administrative services on the Bloemfontein and South Campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS) will resume on Monday 29 February 2016.

The following academic and security arrangements have been put in place:

1.    Academic arrangements:

It is important to remember that losing an academic week has major implications for all students, particularly for first-year students, and for purposes of academic planning. The university will therefore resume its normal work on Monday 29 February 2016. Losing any additional time will severely disadvantage students, especially those who desperately need the time to catch up with lectures ahead of the coming tests and examinations. Many more students will struggle to complete the academic year if any further time is lost.

In order to ensure that the academic work of the university is not undermined, the UFS will extend this academic term by one week.
This will allow the completion of the work scheduled for last week. Given the impact that disruptions had on the emotions and concentration of many of our students, academics are requested to manage the setting and re-setting of all tests and assignments scheduled for last week with sensitivity, and to be supportive of students as they re-start their academic work.  No student should be disadvantaged in terms of tests or assignments as a result of last week’s closure. We know you would do this anyway, but this is a reminder to all staff of what we expect to be a common approach and understanding on the part of lecturers.

We rely on the leadership of the deans in the seven faculties to support staff and students in dealing with the lost time in the most appropriate manner and in supporting all efforts to refocus energies on the academic project.

As the senior leadership and management of the university, we will continue to do everything in our power to make sure that the academic programme continues uninterrupted.

2.    Security arrangements:
The Bloemfontein Campus is secure and we have more than doubled the security arrangements, with the interdict firmly in place.

The university management condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence that took place at Xerox Shimla Park on the night of Monday 22 February 2016. It also condemns the disruptions of the university that followed Monday’s event, which resulted in the suspension of academic and administrative activities on the Bloemfontein Campus. In line with the terms of the interdict - and now that we are at full capacity to secure this very large and spread-out campus - the university will act swiftly and firmly if any protests or disruption recur.

The following security arrangements are in place:
2.1  Staff and students must have their staff and student cards with them when entering the campus. Passengers in motor vehicles will have to present their cards to security personnel before access could be granted. Security personnel will check this physically by verifying that each person has a valid staff or student card.

2.2  Buses will not be allowed to enter the campus and passengers will have to be dropped off outside the gates - passengers will enter through the turnstiles with their valid access cards. Anyone without a valid access card will have to go to the Visitors Centre and present positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

2.3  Pedestrians will have to swipe their cards at the turnstiles at the gates. Those without cards will have to enter through the Visitors Centre by presenting positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

2.4  Visitors must report to the Visitors Centre (at Gate 5 in DF Malherbe Drive) and present positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

2.5  Due to anticipated delays, it is advised that people allow some additional time when planning their routes to campus and to also make use of the less busy gates, such as Gate 4 (Furstenburg Road) and Gate 2 (Roosmaryn Residence).

2.6  It is advised that walkways be used, especially at night, and that pedestrians should keep to areas that are well lit.

Security helpline: +27(0)51 401 2911 | +27(0)51 401 2634.
 

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