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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

‘Captivating, powerful’ exhibition debuts at UFS
2016-08-29

Description: Sue Williamson exibition Tags: Sue Williamson exibition

Sue Williamson, What is this thing called freedom?, 2016 (two-channel video, 19min 25s)

A new exhibition by internationally-recognised artist, Sue Williamson, entitled No More Fairytales, was launched in the Johannes Stegmann Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) on 18 August 2016. The exhibition takes the audience on an exploration into the long-term effects of South Africa’s violent past.

No More Fairytales features two new video works. In It’s a pleasure to meet you, Candice Mama and Siyah Mgoduka—whose fathers were killed by Eugene de Kock—talk about living with loss, holding, on, and letting go. The other video, What is this thing called freedom?, draws the audience into a conversation between three generations of women in the Siwani family, who talk about the humiliations of apartheid, student unrest in the 1980s, and the recent #FeesMustFall protests.

“It’s all about opening up conversations.”

Both of these works have already been invited to participate in international exhibitions, the first of which, Un Autre Continent, opens in Le Havre, France, in September 2016. The videos will appear in 2017 in Without Drums and Trumpets—100 Years of War, also in France. The exhibition will run until 16 September 2016 at the UFS.

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Sue Williamson, It's a pleasure to meet you, 2016 (two-channel video, 25min)

“There is such an energy to this large piece of work; there is something captivating, something powerful about its vibrancy,” said Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Senior Research Professor in Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies at the UFS. The series was commissioned by Prof Gobodo-Madikizela as part of the project, ‘Trauma, Memory and Representations of the Past: Transforming Scholarship in the Humanities and the Arts’. The five-year research project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through a grant of R10 million.

The launch of the exhibition was followed the next morning by an insightful dialogue session between Prof Gobodo-Madikizela, Mama, Mgoduka, Williamson, and the audience. “It’s all about opening up conversations and trying to bring out things that have been so painful and so hurtful in this country,” Williamson said.

 

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