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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

Arts and Science collaborate in creating sustainable futures
2016-03-16

Description: Dr Keith Armstrong Tags: Dr Keith Armstrong

Creating a future where living green is the status quo: Dr Keith Armstrong
Photo: Lihlumelo Toyana

In creating partnerships across disciplines, mankind gains a deeper understanding of how to create the future. This is the premise upon which Dr Keith Armstrong bases his research and experimental art. Dr Armstrong is an Australian Hybrid Media artist and a Senior Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

Artists that make things happen

“My journey has shifted from an artist that makes things to an artist that makes things happen,” he said at the New Futures: Innovations in Arts and Science public talk recently at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The talk, organised by the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, was part of a series of artistic projects presented by the Programme for Innovation in Arts and Development (PIAD). This initiative is spearheaded by the UFS and Vrystaat Arts Festival, kindly supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Dr Angus Hervey – an Australian writer, technologist and science communicator– was also a speaker at the event. Dr Hervey is a co-founder of Future Crunch, a platform for intelligent, optimistic thinking about the future. He strongly shares Dr Armstrong’s passion and viewpoints.

Dr Armstrong’s work is motivated by social and ecological justice. His non-traditional research and more than 60 artworks serve to evoke audiences to create sustainable futures.

Building the future

Dr Armstrong is in the process of making “things happen” in informal settlements across the Free State by means of his Re-Future project. The project brings together sustainability, community development, and creative action. It moves away from conventional art practices and instead offer a platform to rethink and therefore re-future our practices of sustainability.

The Re-Future project has been initiated through a collaboration between the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, the UFS Centre for Development Support (CDS) and Qala Phelang Tala (QPT) and the Vrystaat Art Festival.

According to Anita Venter, a lecturer at CDS and founder of QPT, empowerment is at the centre of the artist-initiated, yet community-controlled project. “It gives a new direction and new hope to the community,” she said.

For more information
Angela de Jesus, dejesusav@ufs.ac.za or +27(0)51 401 2706

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