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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

South Campus supplementary schools foster future Kovsies
2016-07-13

The Monyetla Bursary Project, in partnership with the University of the Free State (UFS) and other sponsors, presents an annual Winter School for Grade 12s on the South Campus. In addition, a Saturday school for Grade 12s has been in operation since 2007.

 “Champion teachers
in the district
assist learners”

Chris Grobler, a science teacher at Navalsig High School in Bloemfontein, is the organiser of both schools. He says, “I saw it as a tragic state of affairs that those offering bursaries and the bright learners from our formerly disadvantaged schools were not meeting up with each other.”

The first year saw 300 learners attending, with five subjects being presented. This tally has since grown to 650 learners each Saturday, with 11 subjects being presented, including Business Studies, Computer Applications Technology (CAT), Geography, Maths, and English.

“Our vision was to get champion teachers in the district to assist learners to qualify for university bursaries,” says Grobler. The project has succeeded in attracting educators with extensive experience as chief markers or even subject advisors in the Department of Education.

Description: Winter school  Tags: Winter school

Roald Rautenbach presents the Computer Applications
Technology (CAT) class while Peet Jacobs interprets in SASL.
Video recordings are also made for later distribution.

Photo: Eugene Seegers

Wider reach

“This year, the 1 200 learners at the Winter School hail not only from the Free State but also from as far as North-West, Gauteng, and the Eastern Cape.” Grobler says, “We are very pleased about this, as it means that the image of the UFS is being carried further afield.”

Lesego Modisele, one of the visiting learners from Parys, says, “I like how they brought in teachers that are heads of their subjects, who are very experienced and help us a lot. They explain how exam papers are set and which important things to focus on.”

By means of the Schools Partnership Programme (SPP), 250 learners from Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo have also been assisted. Katleho Setloho, who was one of these students, is currently a medical student at the UFS.

A special feature included in this year’s programme is interpreting services in South African Sign Language (SASL) for Deaf students. As an added bonus, a disc of the sessions in SASL is being compiled for English, Mathematics, and CAT, with plans for it to be distributed to the deaf community in the rest of South Africa via the UFS.

 

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