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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

UFS acquires Willem Boshoff’s digital archive
2016-07-22

“I do not want to be the only person or artist that is part of this archive, but I want it to expand and involve others too.”

These were the words of Prof Willem Boshoff, the renowned artist and, Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts, during the presentation of the Willem Boshoff Archive to the University of the Free State (UFS) Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery during the Vrystaat Arts Festival.

The digital archive may be consulted at the Department of Art History and Image Studies. Large parts of it will also be available on the UFS website at http://scholar.ufs.ac.za.

Conversations surrounding the digital archive

In a discussion led by Dr Francis Halsall from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland, the discussion led to the discovery of various themes, including The idea of research, education and dialogue, doing or making, the organisation of knowledge, language and translation, word and figures or people, and the enthusiastic amateur.

Artwork attracts international attention

Alongside Prof Boshoff and Dr Halsall, many other participants who have been inspired by the artist’s work sat in on the discussion about the archive.

They included Ivan Vladislavic, author of Willem Boshoff (2004), Dr Katja Gentric, whose doctoral dissertation at the University of Bourgogne (2013) is on Boshoff’s work, and Helene Smuts, arts education writer and publisher. Josef van Wyk, a Master’s student working on Prof Boshoff’s archive, and Prof Johann Rossouw, Associate Professor of the Department of Philosophy also formed part of the discussion.

Vladislavic mentioned that Prof Boshoff’s work opens up a different form of conceptualisation. “When I first encountered Willem’s work, I was excited by it from an art historic perspective,” he said.

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