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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 Council confirms decision to integrate student residences
2007-09-14

At its quarterly meeting held today (Friday, 14 September 2007) the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) confirmed the decision taken at its previous meeting that the student residences of the UFS should be racially integrated.

The decision was taken with an overwhelming majority with only one vote against it and will be implemented in January 2008.

The Council tabled and noted the resolution of the Convocation of 11 September 2007 concerning the Council’s initial decision of 8 June 2007 and urged the management to continue to be sensitive, empathetic and inclusive in dealing with the concerns and views of all stakeholders.

The Council also gave all interested parties the assurance that any suggestions that could assist in the successful implementation of its decision would be considered and called once again on all stakeholders to make proposals to the management of the UFS so as to ensure a well-managed process of integration and managing diversity in residences.

In this regard it welcomed the suggestion made by the alumni of the UFS for the introduction of a Diversity Scorecard for residences which would include a multi-dimensional range of indicators and incentives for residences. This could include the diversity profile of a residence, the academic performance of the students in a residence, inter-residence activities and community service projects launched by students.

According to the Rector and Vice-chancellor of the UFS, Prof. Frederick Fourie, the Council hereby also restated the educational motive for the integration of residences, which meant that from an educational point of view, students who had the knowledge and skills to manage diversity would have a distinct advantage in the workplace and in life.

“Today’s decision is a major step forward for the Council and the UFS to achieve a broad consensus around the promotion of diversity at the UFS and in its residences, as the institution has always been committed to giving the best education to students in a diverse and non-racial environment. I would like to call on current students, prospective students, parents, alumni and other stakeholders to make this work in the best interests of the university and its students,” Prof. Fourie said.

He added that the UFS had established several task teams comprising staff and students to implement the Council’s decision of 8 June 2007 and that much work had already been done to identify critical areas and tasks ahead of implementation in January 2008.


Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
14 September 2007
 

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