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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

School of Medicine White Coat ceremony embraces first-years into the fold
2016-03-17

Description: School of Medicine White Coat ceremony  Tags: School of Medicine White Coat ceremony

From the left are first-year UFS medical students Liandri Van Zyl, Lane Halberg, Wisani Baloyi, and Neve Steenbeek at the annual White Coat ceremony, wearing their white coats for the first time.

“Life isn’t about yourself. It’s about what you can pour into the lives of others.” The first-year medical students will not soon forget Dr Lynette van der Merwe’s words during their recent White Coat ceremony. Dr Van der Merwe is the Programme Director of the MBChB undergraduate program at the University of the Free State (UFS) School of Medicine.

The annual White Coat ceremony is a tradition at the school to welcome first-year students to the world of medicine. As an official initiation into this new world, students are allowed to put on their white coats for the first time. During the ceremony, representatives from the Medical Students Association contributed to the significance of the event by reading a declaration of intent regarding professional behaviour for all medical students.

Dr Wayne Marais, Head of the UFS Department of Ophthalmology, was the guest speaker, sharing his vivid memories of being the first black student to study Medicine at the UFS in 1987. Prof Marais encouraged students to embrace their failures and successes, and to ultimately stay true to themselves – both personally and professionally.

Second-year medical students were at hand to offer advice and support. In addition to offering encouragement, they also assured the newcomers that there is a life outside of their books as well.

The entire ceremony not only served to welcome the first-years into the fold, but also unite them in a common purpose towards helping others in future.

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