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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 graduates encouraged to continue their legacy
2016-04-25

Description: Autumn graduation 2016 Tags: Autumn graduation 2016

A total of 3681 qualifications, from seven different faculties, were conferred between 12 to 15 April 2016 at the University of the Free State Autumn Graduations on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Evert Kleynhans

Photo Gallery
Graduation Video Clip 

“You cannot let your legacy stop here. Use your qualifications to change the life of others.”

This was the call from Dr Muavia Gallie, a guest speaker at one of the Autumn Graduations on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). He is a School-Turnaround strategist and educational activist.

He was the speaker on 12 April 2016 at the Faculty of Education graduation ceremony in the Callie Human Centre. According to Dr Gallie and other speakers at the graduations, graduates need to use their qualifications for the good of South Africa.

A diverse group of graduates

A total of 3681 qualifications were conferred in seven faculties between 12 and 15 April 2016, the week of ceremonies comprising eight sessions. It was four days of festivities with friends and families gathering to celebrate with graduates.

The large number of graduates consisted of a diverse group. According to Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the UFS, the group passing with distinctions was also much more diverse than in past years, especially in the number of female students.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, said graduation ceremonies remain the most special days on the UFS calendar.

A total of 22 students from the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support also graduated during the week.

Work for next generation

Sello Hatang, the speaker on 12 April 2016 at the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law, and Theology ceremony, echoed Dr Gallie’s sentiments; “As you leave this university, your work begins for the next generation; to serve the people you care about in any way possible,” said Hatang, the Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Other speakers included Dawie Roodt, the most referenced economist in the media in 2015, at the ceremony of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences on 14 April 2016. The speaker on 15 April 2016 at the ceremony of the Faculty of Humanities was Nikiwe Bikitsha, one of South Africa’s leading journalists and broadcasters.

Achievers

In the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Madri Brink (Baccalaureus Scientiae Agriculture) received a Senate Medal for the best four-year Baccalaureus degree, while Kyla Hayter (Baccalaureus Scientiae Honores) won the Senate Medal for the best Honours student at the UFS. Willem Carel Brink from the Faculty of Humanities received a Senate Medal for the best three-year Baccalaureus Degree.

Deans’ medals awarded by the UFS.

Also see videos of the respective guest speakers:
Dr Muavia Gallie
Sello Hatang
Dawie Roodt
Nikiwe Bikitsha

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