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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

Monkey research attracts international attention
2016-07-11

Description: Monkey research attracts international attention  Tags: Monkey research attracts international attention

Prof Trudy Turner from the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Prof Paul Grobler
from the Department of Genetics at the
University of the Free State, together with one
of the students researching monkey genes.
Photo: Siobhan Canavan

For this year’s Summer School programme, Prof Paul Grobler, from the University of the Free State Department of Genetics focuses on research about the conflict between monkeys and humans in areas where monkeys are regarded as problem animals.

Global expert part of research

This year, Prof Grobler is hosting a group of students and lecturers from the United States of America (USA). The group includes Prof Trudy Turner from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), a global expert on vervet monkeys. She has been working with the Department of Genetics at the UFS for the past fifteen years, and has also been appointed as an Affiliated Professor in the department.

“The Summer School programme is an opportunity for the American Primatology students to gain practical experience in Africa,” says Prof Grobler.

International interest in Summer School

This year’s Summer School programme involves four lecturers and nine students. The lecturers are from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Boston University, and Central Washington University.

“We use the genetic information to determine
how monkeys historically infiltrated the
different areas in South Africa.”

This year’s focus is on the genetic structure of the monkeys in South Africa, and research that is being done on the differences and similarities in monkeys from different areas. “We use the genetic information to determine how monkeys historically infiltrated the different areas in South Africa,” says Prof Grobler.

Local nature reserve acting as host

The group will perform field work, including observing monkeys in the Soetdoring Nature Reserve, as well as laboratory work in the department, where they will be assisted by two laboratory technicians.

Two years ago, Prof Grobler and his department tested this idea on a smaller scale, and now they hope to make this a regular event. 

 

 

 

 

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