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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

One, two, three – is your thesis done?
2016-08-26

Description: three-minute-thesis  Tags: three-minute-thesis

Winners of the UFS Three-Minute-Thesis competition.
From the left: Thutukile Jita, Natural/Social Sciences
PhD winner; Saheed Sabiu, Natural/Health Sciences
and audience-favourite PhD winner;
Matseliso Mkotywa, master’s audience-favourite
winner; Zingisile Mbo, Natural/Health Sciences
master’s winner.
Photo: Charl Devenish

“Next time you have three minutes to spare, try to formulate your master’s or doctoral thesis,” says Dr Henriëtte van den Berg, Director of the Postgraduate School at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The much anticipated Three-Minute-Thesis (3MT) Competition took place at the UFS Bloemfontein Campus on Friday 19 August 2016. Diverse and interesting research projects were discussed, giving one a glimpse into months and even years of hard work and dedication.

A learning opportunity for candidates
The 3MT competition is an international event founded at the University of Queensland, Australia. It is divided into master’s and PhD categories.  At the UFS competition, the master’s section was dominated by the Medical and Natural Sciences, in contrast with the PhD section’s focus on Social Sciences. “The competition is a learning opportunity for our UFS candidates,” says Dr Henriëtte van den Berg.

Thought-provoking research presented
Interesting methodologies and research questions sustained the academic excellence the candidates pride themselves in. Saheed Sabiu, PhD candidate and winner, constructed his thesis around, Waste to Health: Corn silk in the Management of Kidney Diseases. “Use corn silk (white fibre around corn) in the same manner as a tea bag, to help manage kidney diseases,” says Sabiu.

Audience members also had the opportunity to ask the candidates questions relating to their thesis topic.

Winners at the event:
•    Master’s winner: Zingisile Mbo
•    PhD winner: Natural/ Health Science: Saheed Sabiu
•    PhD winner: Natural/Social Sciences: Thutukile Jita

The winners of each category received a cash prize and will represent the UFS at the national 3MT competition, hosted by the UFS in November this year.

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