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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

Trevor Manuel and Max du Preez among the recipients of honorary doctorates at UFS graduation
2016-07-02

Description: 4 Hon Docs Tags: 4 Hon Docs

The UFS awarded four honorary doctorates
at its Winter Graduation ceremonies.
The recipients are from left Max du Preez,
Dr Reuel Jethro Khoza, Prof Joel Samoff
and Trevor Manuel at the UFS Chancellor’s
Dinner on 30 June 2016.

Photo: Johan Roux

He is excited about the young minds he saw and interacted with at the graduation ceremony of the University of the Free State (UFS). This is what Max du Preez, one of South Africa’s leading journalists and political analysts, said after receiving an honorary doctorate.

According to Du Preez (Humanities), he was inspired by the Winter Graduation ceremony on 30 June 2016 in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus. He is happy to finally also call the UFS his alma mater. He grew up in Kroonstad and is a true Free Stater, but previously graduated at the Stellenbosch University.

The UFS awarded four honorary doctorates – the others to Prof Joel Samoff (Humanities), Trevor Manuel and Dr Reuel Jethro Khoza (both Economic and Management Sciences) – and two Chancellor’s medals at the morning ceremony on 30 June 2016. Chancellor’s medals were awarded to Antony Osler and Marguerite van der Merwe (née Osler).

Manuel impressed by amount of soul

At the Chancellor’s Dinner, which was held in the Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus on 30 June 2016, Du Preez said he feels honoured. He said South Africans must embrace the diversity of the country, and the UFS is a good example. “If the University of the Free State can make it, South Africa can make it.”

Manuel, a former South African Finance Minister, said he is honoured by the amount of soul he experienced from Dr Khotso Mokhele, UFS Chancellor, and Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS. “We cannot tolerate what is wrong (in the country) and need to push the boundaries of what is right,” he said.

UFS stands out regarding understanding


Dr Khoza, a distinguished thinker and businessman, also thanked the UFS at the Chancellor’s Dinner. “We shall strive to be known less for what we say, but rather more for what we do,” he said about the country.
According to Prof Samoff, Professor in Africa Studies at Stanford University (USA), “South Africa has committed itself to building a democratic, non-racist, and non-sexist society”. “Where the University of the Free State stands out, is in its understanding that societal change – ‘transformation’, to use the current terminology – is not an outcome, but a process. A difficult process.”

 

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