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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

Beauty from UFS a national Miss Earth finalist
2016-08-19

Description: Elnè van Coller Tags: Elnè van Coller

Elnè van Coller, final-year
Occupational Therapy student at
the University of the Free State
was selected as a national
finalist in Miss Earth South Africa
(SA) leadership programme on
1 August 2016.
Photo: Miss Earth SA

“Greening my community and touching lives is my purpose in life. We were put on this beautiful Earth to serve others and make a difference in the world.”

This is what Elnè van Coller, final-year Occupational Therapy student at the University of the Free State, had to say after being selected as a national finalist in Miss Earth South Africa (SA) leadership programme.

She has set out to be the change. Not only does she want to see change in her own community but in the rest of the world. The reason she entered the Miss Earth SA programme is to inspire others.

Leadership programme to inspire others

The Miss Earth SA is a leadership programme which aims at empowering young South African women with the knowledge and platform to create a sustainable difference. It helps create awareness of sustainable development, the environment, wildlife, and the conservation of the natural legacy.

 “Miss Earth SA is an amazing platform for me to develop leadership skills, raise awareness, and be actively involved in environmental affairs as well as serving the community,” said Elnè.

Getting the community involved is important

The theme for this year’s Miss Earth SA programme is Waste Stops With ME, so clean-ups are a major part of the programme. Elnè started a Facebook page, Team Up-To-Clean-Up Bloemfontein. “This page is to share environmental facts, inform the people of Bloemfontein about the clean-ups, as well as get them involved”.

The Miss Earth SA gala week will take place in Johannesburg from 5 – 9 September 2016 when the Miss Earth SA 2016 will be announced.

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