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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

Call for campus review and participation into renaming and renewal of statues, signs, and symbols on UFS campuses
2016-08-25

 

The leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) is issuing a Call for the renaming and renewal of statues, signs, and symbols on the three campuses to staff, students, and alumni.

In line with the founding statement and guidelines of the Naming Committee of Council, The Call will seek to retain the best representations of the history and identity of the UFS over more than a century, while committing to the transformation imperatives of our new democracy so that the totality of statues, signs, and symbols give credence to both the past and the future, all in line with the values of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

Submissions should be made to the
SSSC between 21 July 2016 and 31 August 2016.
Proposals can be delivered to the
office of the Director: Communication and
Brand Management at Room 49,
Main Building, Bloemfontein Campus, or
via email to sssc@ufs.ac.za.

The ‘Guiding Principles’ of the Naming Committee, approved by Council on 8 March 2013, are transformation, reconciliation, excellence, distinctiveness, leadership, comprehensiveness, balance and sensitivity. The Policy of the UFS on Naming and Renaming is available here: http://bit.ly/2aeTLUz; and the Remit of the Naming Committee of the UFS is available here: http://bit.ly/29NXESC.

The Call will give special attention to creative submissions from staff, students, and alumni, such as signs and symbols that reflect our entangled past and place rival memories in critical conversation. Whatever is proposed, our commitment to the Academic Project and the Human Project remain foundations on which inspirational proposals could be based. In the end, a campus that is richly diverse, inclusive, and just in its symbolic infrastructure, would give visible meaning to the university’s commitment to social justice and reconciliation.

All submissions should be made to the Statues, Signs, and Symbols Committee (SSSC) between 21 July 2016 and 31 August 2016. Proposals could be delivered in hard copy to the office of the Director: Communication and Brand Management at Room 49, Main Building, Bloemfontein Campus or via email to sssc@ufs.ac.za.

Proposals will be reviewed by the SSSC, which is a subcommittee of the Naming Committee.

Final proposals will be submitted to Council for consideration at its final meeting of the 2016 academic year. In other words, new statues, symbols and signs – those approved by Council – will be implemented from January 2017.

Submissions could include, but are not limited to, the following: the renaming of streets and buildings; the proposal of new statues and other symbols on campus; the renewal of artwork collections; the reconfiguration of existing statues and symbols; the introduction of memorial gardens; the instatement of new galleries, sculptures, and literary collections; the establishment of prominent academic chairs or annual academic lectures in the name of illustrious figures, etc. Particular attention should be given to new buildings in the process of being built, such as residences.

Finally, it is important that the views and recommendations of all staff, students, and alumni be considered in submissions and that every campus citizen, past and present, has a sense of being able to participate fully and freely in the process.

Released by: Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Tel: +27 51 401 3422/2707 or +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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