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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

First CAS Winter School brings researchers together
2016-08-01

Description: CAS Winter School  Tags: CAS Winter School

International and University of the Free State delegates
during the three day Centre for Africa Studies
winter school.
Photo: Supplied

The first biennial doctoral Winter School by the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State (UFS) brought together UFS PhD researchers as well as current and new Africa Studies students specialising in the Conflict and Peace subfield.

According to Prof Heidi Hudson, Director of the Centre for Africa Studies, this was the aim of the Winter School, hosted in collaboration with the John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS) in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford  in the United Kingdom. The Winter School took place from 18-22 July 2016 on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

Doctoral students gain deeper insight during school

Prof Hudson said the Winter School was presented to share insights, and develop further understanding of the complex terrain of interdisciplinary studies.
“The School also provided an opportunity for the Centre’s newly-recruited doctoral students specialising in peace and conflict to gain deeper insight into Peace Studies methodologies,” said Prof Hudson.

Why male ex-combatants resort to violent behaviour?

To conclude the Winter School, Prof Donna Pankhurst from the University of Bradford presented a seminar. Her research paper, What is wrong with men? Revisiting violence against women in conflict and peacebuilding, tries to explain why men resort to violent behaviour after the end of combat duty. Prof Pankhurst described her research title as “a wacky title to grab people’s attention”. “This paper is part of a larger study which is exploring the extent to which post-traumatic stress disorder may impact on male ex-combatants' tendency to commit violence against women,” said Prof Pankhurst.

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