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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

Louzanne Coetzee heading for Paralympic Games in Rio
2016-08-02

Description: Louzanne Coetzee  Tags: Louzanne Coetzee

Louzanne Coetzee (left) from the University of the
Free State and her guide Khothatso Mokone, a former Kovsie,
will compete in the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, from 7 to 18 September 2016.
Photo: Rufus Botha

Her perseverance and faith. Faith in herself and her coaches, as well as her Christian faith. Rufus Botha says this is what makes the Paralympic athlete Louzanne Coetzee special. According to her coach, the 23-year-old star from the University of the Free State (UFS) is easy to work with. “Her work ethic is incredible. As coach, I actually have to stop her,” he jokes. “She does not like to rest.”

On 19 July 2016, Coetzee was included in South Africa’s Paralympic team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She and her guide Khothatso Mokone, also a former Kovsie, were included in the team that will participate in Rio from 7 to 18 September 2016.

Sights still set on 2020 Olympics

In Brazil, Coetzee will compete in the T11 category in the 1 500 m. The blind athlete is also outstanding in the 800 m and 5 000 m, of which she is the world record holder, but these items do not feature at the Olympics.

Botha says Coetzee has her sights still set on the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. “Anything she achieves in Rio will actually be a bonus.” He says it was an achievement on its own to be included in the SA team among established athletes such as Arnu Fourie and Ilse (Hayes) Carstens.

CUADS super proud of record-breaker

“Anything she achieves in Rio
will actually be a bonus.”


“Louzanne is an absolute star and an example to so many Kovsie students,” says Martie Miranda, Head of the Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) at the UFS. “We are super proud of her.”

On 17 July 2016, Coetzee set a new Africa record (5:00:25) in the 1 500 m in Berlin. She will leave for Rio on 30 August 2016, with her heat taking place on 15 September 2016 and the finals on 17 September 2016.

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