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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 Council elects new Chairperson
2017-01-27

Description: Mr Willem Louw and Nthabeleng Rammile Tags: Mr Willem Louw and Nthabeleng Rammile

Mr Willem Louw, new Chairperson of the Council
of the University of the Free State, and Dr Nthabeleng
Rammile, new Vice-Chairperson.
Photo: Stephen Collett

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) elected Mr Willem Louw as the new Chairperson during a special meeting on Friday 20 January 2017. He was Vice-Chairperson of the Council since 13 March 2015. Dr Nthabeleng Rammile was elected Vice-Chairperson at the same meeting, making her the first woman in the history of the university elected to this position.

The election of Mr Louw comes after the announcement by Justice Ian van der Merwe at a Council meeting on 2 December 2016 that he will be stepping down as Chairperson on 31 December 2016.

Mr Louw has served on the Council since 11 September 2009 and was elected as member of the Executive Committee of the Council on 18 November 2011. He furthermore serves on the Council’s subcommittees for Audit and Risk Management, and Honorary Degrees.

In accepting his election as Chairperson, Mr Louw said that he appreciates the trust Council has bestowed on him. “It is a privilege and honour to lead Council and I look forward to the challenge. With the support of Dr Rammile and the rest of the Council, I endeavour to ensure that the university management is assisted in the governance of the university and that the Council plays its governance role fully at all times,” he said.

“The UFS is privileged to have Mr Louw and Dr Rammile leading its Council at such a crucial time in the South African higher-education sector. Their combined experience will be of great benefit to the university community,” said Prof Nicky Morgan, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

Mr Louw is an Associate of the Transnet Centre for Business Management of Projects at the University of Stellenbosch Business School and a non-executive Director of Group Five Limited. He was previously Managing Director of the technology business unit and a member of Group Management at Sasol, where he worked from 1985 until 2011. He is a member of the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions and a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering. Mr Louw received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Stellenbosch University and his MDP (Management Development Programme in Project Management) from UNISA. He is currently enrolled for a PhD in Business Management and Administration at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Dr Rammile has served on the Council as representative of the religious communities since 1 January 2016. She is also member of the Council subcommittees for Audit and Risk Management, and Naming. She obtained a PhD in Brand Management at the UFS, where she also lectured in the Department of Business Management from 2003 to 2014. She is a pastor at Global Reconciliation, where she is responsible for women’s ministry, community outreach projects, and multimedia.

Mr Louw will serve as Chairperson of Council until 31 December 2018, and Dr Rammile will serve as Vice-Chairperson until 12 March 2018.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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