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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

Wayde Van Niekerk makes sprinting history
2016-03-13

He is the world champion in the 400 m, the South African Sports Star for 2015, and now Kovsie student Wayde van Niekerk has achieved something nobody else has done before.

On 12 March 2016, Van Niekerk became the first athlete in history to run the 100 m under 10 seconds, the 200 m under 20 seconds, and the 400 m under 44 seconds. Van Niekerk achieved this feat, which was confirmed by the IAAF, when he ran a personal best in the 100 m at the Free State Championships in his hometown of Bloemfontein.

His time of 9.98 seconds in the 100 m improved his previous best by 0.47 seconds. Van Niekerk ran his previous best back in 2011 and didn’t compete much in this event during the last couple of years.

“We, as the UFS leadership, are enormously proud of this historic achievement of Wayde, who embodies our values of academic commitment and human decency in every way,” said Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS).

He was congratulated by many people on social media over the weekend. AB de Villiers, the Proteas' test and one-day cricket captain, was one of a few well-known people who congratulated Van Niekerk on Twitter.
“@WaydeDreamer don’t know the man, but WOW. Take a bow,” De Villiers tweeted.

A humble Van Niekerk thanked De Villiers and wished him good luck for the upcoming T20 World Cup in India.

The 23-year old Van Niekerk said on his Instagram account that it was a childhood dream to run a sub 10, and expressed his thanks to his supporters.  

On 11 March 2016, Van Niekerk won the 200 m at the Free State Championships in 20.97 seconds. His best in this event is 19.94 seconds.

More articles:

Van Niekerk makes sprinting history in Bloemfontein (IAAF)

UFS community proud of Wayde’s hat trick of awards

Wayde nominated with SA’s best

Wayde one of the Adidas faces for Rio 2016

NBC tells Wayde’s story 

Wayde, Karla crowned as KovsieSport’s best

UFS congratulates Wayde van Niekerk and other students for their national and international

Kovsies Wayde van Niekerk wins gold at the IAAF World Championship

 

 

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