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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

A hat trick for Kovsie Master’s student
2016-07-28

Description: Candice Thikeson  Tags: Candice Thikeson

Candice Thikeson from the University of the Free State
was the successful recipient of the Abe Bailey
Travel Bursary.
Photo: Johan Roux

Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Bright Young Mind, and now successful candidate of the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary. These accolades now all belong to Candice Thikeson from the University of the Free State (UFS).

To complete the hat trick, she was declared the recipient of the bursary on 20 July 2016. She follows in the footsteps of Stefan van der Westhuizen, who was the UFS Abe Bailey recipient in 2015.

An unexpected breakfast announcement

Thikeson, Gosego Moroka, and Wonga Mfana were the UFS final candidates for the bursary.

Thikeson, who is currently a Master’s student in Art History and Image Studies, said she never expected to be the successful candidate, but is really grateful. “I would like to thank the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, the Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities, Prof Lucius Botes, and members of the Rectorate, and academic staff who gave me the news in such a special way.”

Promoting South African unity abroad

The objective of the bursary is to broaden the views of young South Africans to effect greater understanding and co-operation among those from various language and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, it wants to empower those who show exceptional leadership qualities and a strong service ethic, while adopting commitment and effective participation in a common future.

Most importantly, the bursary seeks to promote South African unity. It is awarded each year and consists of a three-week educational tour of England and Scotland. The host in the United Kingdom will be Goodenough College in London.

Thikeson will be overseas from 22 November to 17 December 2016, visiting London, Cambridge, Oxford in the United Kingdom, and Edinburgh in Scotland.

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