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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

UFS researcher explores the future cost of cancer
2017-01-10

 Description: 001 Dr Alicia Sherriff Tags: 001 Dr Alicia Sherriff

Dr Alicia Sherriff, Head the Department of Oncology
at the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences, co-authored
an article in the South African Medical Journal.

Photo: Charl Devenish

Cancer is on an exponential rise globally, and the cost of treatment is a growing international problem. South Africa alone is expected to see a 78% increase in cancer cases. Dr Alicia Sheriff, Head of the Department of Oncology, collaborated on and co-authored a research paper for the South African Medical Journal on the future of oncology treatment in the country, along with doctors from various universities across South Africa. The article, titled "The future cost of cancer: interdisciplinary cost management strategy", looks at the prognosis of cancer management in the country.

Cancer is on the rise

There is a visible growth of the cancer disease in the developing world. Rapidly changing lifestyles, uncontrolled urbanisation, pollution, and population ageing are some dynamics that provide a lethal cocktail of infectious and lifestyle risk factors that leave people at a higher risk of developing cancer.

The simultaneous increase in cancer incidence has increased the cost of treatment exponentially. The cost of cancer treatment is multitiered, making the provision of care for cancer patients a high-risk business. A combination of treatment delays, limited resources, differently skilled personnel, high patient volumes and advanced disease stage on presentation all place a bigger burden on the delivery of optimal cancer care outcomes.

Adoption of new strategies

According to the doctors, innovative thinking to embrace technology, combined with a preventive approach, as well as lowering the cost of treatment drugs should be prioritised. So should the commercialisation of new technologies that will diagnose and treat cancer in its early stages. They also encourage interdisciplinary research funding in South Africa as a way to better understand the demographic and molecular dynamics of cancer in the country, along with retaining more oncologists in the public health sector.

Efficient solutions to curb cancer mortality

The doctors assert there is a need to continue to look for more efficient measures to best treat the disease, and hopefully bring about a change in mortality levels in South Africa.

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