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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

Odeion String Quartet performs in Tanzania and Austria
2016-11-18

Description: Odeion String Quartet performs in Tanzania and Austria Tags: Odeion String Quartet performs in Tanzania and Austria

The Odeion String Quartet will build
international relationships when
it visits Tanzania and Austria.
Photo: Supplied

To be an ambassador for the University of the Free State (UFS) is a goal of the Odeion String Quartet (OSQ) and that is exactly what it will do through international visits to Tanzania and Austria. The OSQ, the only residential university quartet in South Africa, will play concerts abroad, share knowledge and build relationships.

It visits Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from 17 to 20 November 2016 and Austria from 29 November to 4 December 2016. The quartet, which constitutes string lecturers at the Odeion School of Music, consists of Samson Diamond, Sharon de Kock, Jeanne-Louise Moolman and Prof Anmari van der Westhuizen Joubert.

A humbling experience
The OSQ was invited by Hekima Raymond, founder and conductor of the Dar Choral Society, to Tanzania to assist the symphony orchestra. Raymond is a self-taught pianist and conductor and was nominated for a BBC Outlook Inspirations award in 2016.

The quartet will lead the string sections of the orchestra, consisting of members from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, performing Beethoven’s fifth symphony and Verdi’s Requiem.

According to Diamond it is a humbling experience, an opportunity to extend their services and help establish the Dar Choral Society. “You are part of something really special, because the circumstances are remote if you compare it to what we have here.”

He means it is important to have a real African footprint and being involved there can later serve as a platform for UFS recruitment.

“You are part of something really special,
because the circumstances are remote if
you compare it to what we have here.”

South African and Austrian collaboration
According to Prof Van der Westhuizen Joubert it is an honour to play in Austria, as Europe is a centre for classical music. The OSQ will play concerts at the Alte Schmiede, Vienna, and the University of Salzburg.

The concert on 4 December 2016 at the University of Salzburg’s Mozarteum is a highlight because the UFS will have the opportunity to build relationships with the famous music school.

Prof Van der Westhuizen Joubert said it would be a South African/Austrian collaboration. “We will bring them South African works (Mokale Koapeng, AJ Feder, Arnold van Wyk and Peter-Louis van Dijk) and will be playing Austrian contemporary string quartets.”

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