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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

AfriForum abandons urgent application to seek temporary interdict against the UFS
2016-03-29

The urgent application by AfriForum to seek a temporary interdict against the University of the Free State (UFS) in relation to its newly approved Language Policy in the High Court in Bloemfontein has been abandoned.

This was conveyed in a letter from AfriForum's attorneys to the attorneys acting for the UFS today.

The step follows correspondence in which the university refused to agree to any interim order against the Language Policy (approved by the university's Senate and Council in March 2016). Instead, the UFS proposed through its attorneys that both sides seek an expedited date to have the legality of the Language Policy determined by June 2016, in order for it to be timeously implemented in 2017 (should the court challenge be dismissed).

The senior leadership of the UFS welcomes the abandonment of the attempt by AfriForum to procure an urgent court order. The UFS is also glad that the timetable it proposed instead to have the validity of the Language Policy determined by the High Court on a final basis by June 2016, has been acceded to by AfriForum. The university community and public will be kept informed of further developments.

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