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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

UFS Ground Studies Laboratory receives accreditation to international standard
2016-03-18

Description: IGS Tags: IGS

Lore-Mari Deysel, Deputy-Director of the institute for Groundwater Studies.
Photo: Charl Devenish

The Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS) Laboratory at the University of the Free State is on equal footing with international testing labs. With its accreditation in March 2016 by SANAS (South African National Accreditation System), the IGS Laboratory now officially meets global standards.

Quality of water

The IGS Laboratory mainly analyses the quality of water samples. When it was originally established in 1989, the lab’s central function was to conduct testing for researchers at the institute itself. “After the public and water boards realised their need to analyse water samples, the IGS Laboratory expanded to deliver a service to these clients,” says Lore-Mari Deysel, Deputy-Director of the institute.

Since suppliers and regulatory authorities will not accept test or calibration results from a lab that is not accredited, the IGS initiated the accreditation process.

Accreditation to international standard


In order to be deemed technically competent and able to receive accreditation, labs must meet the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. ISO/IEC 17025 was first issued in 1999 by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).According to Deysel, this is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world.

“Laboratories that are accredited to this international standard have demonstrated that they are technically competent and able to produce precise and accurate test and/or calibration data. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the university has the capacity to supply valuable and reliable services alongside the academy,” Deysel says.

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