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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

First UFS/AS Young African Scholar Award winner announced
2016-03-10

Description: Fana Gebresenbet Erda Tags: Fana Gebresenbet Erda

Fana Gebresenbet Erda, winner of the first University of the Free State /Africa Spectrum Young African Scholar Award, for his research on political economy.
Photo: Supplied

Scholarship in African Studies still faces the challenge of capacity-building to increase ownership by authors and institutions from and on the African continent. It also requires more coordinated efforts to provide the space deserved by African authors in the international domain. In 2015, the University of the Free State (UFS) Centre for Africa Studies joined forces with Africa Spectrum (AS) in a bid to address this issue by establishing the UFS/AS Young African Scholar Award.

This award seeks to strengthen efforts to promote internationally recognised African scholarship in African Studies. One way to achieve this objective is through publishing articles by researchers based in Africa and in the diaspora in Africa Spectrum, an accredited journal compiled by the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg.

The inaugural award winner

Fana Gebresenbet Erda, a PhD candidate in a Global and European Studies programme jointly offered by the University of Leipzig (Germany) and Addis Ababa University, wrote the winning article for 2015. He will receive a three-year affiliation to the UFS Centre for Africa Studies as a Research Fellow, along with prize money of R5 000, sponsored by the UFS.

His article, The Ethiopian Developmental State in Its Peripheral Lowlands: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, the Politics of Dispossession and State Remaking in Gambella, Western Ethiopia, argues that development through large-scale land acquisitions in Gambella, Western Ethiopia, belies a state-remaking project under a dispossessive political economy.

Submission now open
Africa Spectrum invites scholars to submit research articles in the context of the award. In October of each year a review committee selects submissions for review. Those eligible to submit are postgraduate students nearing completion of their PhD theses and postdoctoral scholars who were awarded their PhDs no more than five years earlier at the time of the submission deadline. Those submitting should be from Africa or should be affiliated to African institutions.

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