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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

Community Engagement Indaba a platform to engage Free State community stakeholders
2017-01-04

Description: Community Engagement Indaba  Tags: Community Engagement Indaba  

Gender empowerment meets an all-women’s team
of UFS and UCT law students wanting to learn from the
South African judicial system and be ready to fight the
crimes of rape and domestic violence. From the left are:
Robin van Wyk and Rotondwa Mulaudzi, both from UCT,
and Thando Mokaulezi from the UFS.

The University of the Free State (UFS), through the office of Community Engagements, and in collaboration with Bloemshelter has hosted the Community Engagemen Indaba in Bloemfontein since 2013. This is a platform where stakeholders in business, welfare and other community organisations can network and hold dialogues that can bring about solutions to some of the societal challenges faced by Free State communities.

Bloemshelter is an independent and registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) that provides shelter for the homeless – catering for women, women with children, the elderly, men and frail persons. The shelter accommodates up to 100 people in both the male and female shelters. The growing partnership it has with the UFS over recent years has grown its ability to reach out to local communities in a more effective way.

At the 2016 Community Engagement Indaba, a number of stakeholders were invited to participate in the skills development action-learning workshops, under the theme: Unlocking Human Potential and Creating Jobs.  This was a platform to strengthen the university’s partnerships with NPOs and other advocacy groups in the province. UFS academics, Community Service Learning (CSL) students and community partners gave their presentations while the Director of Community Engagement, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, offered carpentry training.

Those who attended received certificates that will in future help them build a portfolio of learning evidence. The conference was about creating meaning, igniting learning, propelling movement, inspiring hope and encouraging sharing by bringing together students, academics and members of communities.  The next Community Engagement Indaba will be held next year, on a date that will be announced early in the year.

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