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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

Biggest Bloemfontein art project comes to life
2016-07-11

Description: It’s My City Giraffe Tags: It’s My City Giraffe

Three sculptures in different places
in Bloemfontein will form part of
It’s My City, a large-scale public art
project from 8 to 16 July 2016
alongside the Vrystaat Arts Festival.
Photo: Xany Jansen van Vuuren

One of the biggest art projects Bloemfontein has ever seen. That is how Angela de Jesus, curator of the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery at the University of the Free State (UFS), describes It’s My City. And the large-scale public art project involves the community of Bloemfontein/Mangaung’s participation.

The artwork, conceived by British artist, Alex Rinsler, will be on display from 8 to 16 July 2016, alongside the Vrystaat Arts Festival. Three sculptures, a Baby Giraffe, Mother Tree and Toy Windmill, each about 7.5 metres, will appear in Hoffman Square, Mapikela Square in Batho location, and on the Red Square of the UFS Bloemfontein Campus respectively.

Many from around the city included


Local lead artists – Marius Jansen van Vuuren (Baby Giraffe), Tshiamo Art and Crafts Development (Mother Tree), and Minè Kleynhans (Toy Windmill) – expressed their relationship to the city. According to De Jesus, the project includes “six artists; more than 20 job opportunities were created; and there were skills transfer for many more. Over 50 volunteers, 100 professionals, and hopefully thousands will take part.” It’s My City is the signature 2016 project of the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development, a partnership between the UFS and the festival, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the municipality of Mangaung.

People can connect in positive way

“What most excites me is that this work will create imagery that loads of people can connect with in a positive way, and write a new story,” says Rinsler. According to the public artist and cultural producer, people are invited to visit the sculptures, write down their wishes for the city and those they love, and add them to complete the artworks.

Sculptures meet each other at ceremony

On 16 July 2016, the sculptures will be led by three processions, convening at the Macufe village (corner of Elizabeth and Markgraaff streets). At 17:30, a short ceremony, free to attend, will follow where they will be dismantled in spectacular fashion, with graceful fire and pyrotechnics, and so bringing together many people’s wishes as one.

Photo Gallery
For more information visit the It's My City website
Click here for a press release about the project



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