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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

Pauline Gutter’s metaphorical representations of South Africa
2016-04-07

Description: Thamsanqa Malgas  Tags: Thamsanqa Malgas

Art student, Thamsanqa Malgas views the Purgatorium exhibition at the Stegmann Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus (UFS).
Photo: Rethabile Isaacs

Purgatory is a temporary condition of torment or suffering. This is the central thread of the renowned artist’s exhibition, Purgatorium, at the University of the Free State (UFS). Pauline Gutter’s exhibition was opened by Harry Siertsema on 9 March 2016 at the Stegmann Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The artist, who grew up on a farm in the Free State, is influenced by animals and farm life. “My work is on many levels a metaphorical representation of the violence of current South Africa. Some people want to move away from stigma, others adopt hysteria. The impressive yet vulnerable bulk of the bulls depicted in uncomfortable positions manifests the voiceless and powerless generation of food producers in their daily struggles for survival,” she wrote in the catalogue of the exhibition.

Prof Dirk van den Berg of the UFS Department of History of Art and Image Studies wrote an essay about the exhibition, in which he captures the lived endurance of stress and suffering which Pauline Gutter depicts vividly in Purgatorium.

“The paintings, drawings, and prints in this exhibition have, in various ways, the effect of disseminating the basic tenor of the weaning metaphor of struggle for survival into the farming domains of the land, its creatures, and its people,” said Prof van den Berg.

Art student, Thamsanqa Malgas, was very impressed with the exhibition, saying that it was a fascinating collection, and a must-see for art lovers. The exhibition closed on 1 April 2016.

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