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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

Triumph in the face of adversity
2016-04-29

Description: Glory NSH Tags: Glory NSH

Glory, one of fourteen NSH bursary recipients during the UFS Autumn Graduations.

At the University of the Free State (UFS) Autumn Graduation Ceremony held from 12-15 April 2016, on the Bloemfontein Campus, a record number of fourteen beneficiaries of the No Student Hungry (NSH) Bursary Programme received their degrees. This is an achievement they all feel they could not have reached, were it not for the support by NSH.

The NSH food bursary is awarded to students on the basis of financial need, academic excellence, and a commitment to serve the community. The UFS has helped over 650 students since 2011, when Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, started NSH.

These students are true beacons of inspiration and determination. Indeed, they have triumphed in the face of adversity. This is what can be said about their determination and will to succeed.

Glory, a previous recipient of the NSH bursary and a mother of two, graduated on Tuesday morning, receiving a BEd degree (intermediate phase). She stated that the NSH bursary changed her life drastically when she started receiving it.

“I used to constantly worry about my children and what they would eat. So I would sacrifice my own meals throughout the day just to make sure they have food to eat,” says Glory.

“The NSH bursary really gave me peace of mind, my school work was suffering and once I started receiving food each day, I could focus on what really mattered: my degree.”

“My goals for this year are to get a permanent job, and start receiving a stable salary. I am currently working as a temporary teacher at a primary school in Bloemfontein.

Description: Katlego NSH Tags: Katlego NSH

Katlego, one of fourteen NSH bursary recipients during the UFS Autumn Graduations.

“I never would have thought that I could have made it this far. I want to pursue my postgraduate studies, to inspire my children and other students who have been in my shoes. There is help and hope. My faith also gave me refuge. Nothing that is given to me is taken for granted,” says Glory.

Another student Katlego, who graduated on 14 April 2016, receiving her BCom Human Resource Management degree. At present, she is busy with her BCom Industrial Psychology Honours. She heard about the NSH food bursary, through a friend in 2014, and has been immensely grateful for all she has received. 

“There is no shame in asking for help. There can only be hope and relief,” she said.

“I am so thankful for NSH. As part of the bursary programme, we commit to serving the community. We receive but we are also encouraged to give back. The community service projects have helped me to get out of my comfort zone, to look beyond myself and acknowledge that I am also required to give back my time to others who appreciate and cherish it.”   

The NSH students are offered not only a food bursary; they participate in student wellness and development programmes, and they are motivated and exposed to opportunities for personal growth. Students are also encouraged to be involved in university or community projects as a way of ploughing back into the community, thus creating a reciprocal cycle of giving and receiving within their community.

 

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