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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

Graduates encouraged to emulate the greats
2016-07-06

Description: z 2016 Winter grads Tags: z 2016 Winter grads

The University of the Free State Winter Graduation ceremonies
took place on 29 and 30 June 2016 on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Photo: Johan Roux

Trevor Manuel and Max du Preez among the recipients of honorary doctorates at UFS graduation 

Take up the challenge, make things happen, and emulate the greats. This was the overwhelming theme of messages from speakers to graduates at the Winter Graduation ceremonies of the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Prof Joel Samoff, Professor in Africa Studies at Stanford University (USA), the graduands are the “new generation of analysts, researchers, and practitioners”, and should “assume the responsibility for keeping your senior colleagues on a productive path.” Prof Samoff, who received an honorary doctorate from the UFS on 30 June 2016, was the guest speaker at the afternoon graduation ceremony on 29 June 2016.

The UFS awarded a total of 482 Master’s and doctoral degrees on 30 June 2016 – 53 doctorates and 429 Master’s degrees – in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus. On 29 June 2016, diplomas were awarded in the School of Financial Planning Law, as well as certificates and diplomas in education on the South Campus.

“You are smarter
than you think.
Smarter than other
people think you
are, and smarter
than the country
thinks you are.”


Rise above South African standards


According to Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, South Africans have become use to a low standard of human decency, entertainment, and academics. He encouraged the graduates to rise above it.

“You are smarter than you think. Smarter than other people think you are, and smarter than the country thinks you are.”

Make impact like honorary doctorates


Dr Khotso Mokhele, UFS Chancellor, asked the recipients of honorary doctorates, Prof Samoff, Max du Preez, Trevor Manuel and Dr Reuel Jethro Khoza, and of the two Chancellor’s medals, Antony Osler and Marguerite van der Merwe (née Osler), to face the graduates at the morning ceremony on 30 June 2016. “I challenge you to look at them and to emulate them,” he said. “May it transform you to be like them in 10, 15 or 20 years.”

Dr Mokhele thanks Prof Jansen as leader


Dr Mokhele made special mention of Prof Jansen, who will step down as Vice-Chancellor and Rector on 31 August 2016, as these were his last UFS graduations. He thanked Prof Jansen for his major contribution to transformation at the UFS. “You are not only a Vice-Chancellor, but also a project leader,” Dr Mokhele said.

 

Click here to see a photo gallery of the graduations.

Click here to see a list of distinctions and special awards.

 

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