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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

First-years welcomed to the Kovsie family
2017-01-30

Description: Prof Francis Petersen  Tags: Prof Francis Petersen

Newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the
University of the Free State, Prof Francis Petersen during
the first-year welcoming.
Photo: Charl Devenish

“How do you like my new blazer? Do you think these stripes suit me?” These were the words of the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State, Prof Francis Petersen, as he took to the stage in his #ProudlyKovsies blazer to welcome the 2017 first-years to the Kovsie family.

The event, which was also the start of the first-year Gateway Programme, took place on Saturday, 21 January 2017, and saw first-years and their parents make their way to the Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus where they were formally welcomed.

UFS to produce world graduates
As newcomers, Prof Petersen wanted the fresh faces to feel welcome, to feel a sense of belonging. “You are now a Kovsie, and we want you to experience that Kovsie life until you graduate,” he told them.

During his speech, Prof Petersen reassured parents that the academic year would be completed and that the UFS would operate as an institution. He encouraged the students to absorb and gain knowledge and said the university would strive to ensure excellent knowledge. “At the UFS, we want to produce graduates for the world, and we need to ensure that we use our knowledge to uplift society,” he said.

Use differences to benefit from one another
KovsieFM presenters, Tshwaro Thothela and Gontse Choane played host to the gathering and Pura Mgolombane, Dean of Student Affairs, encouraged the first-years to use their differences to benefit from one another and to learn from this opportunity. “Make sure that the good that you do is for yourself, for others and for the university,” he said.

Prof Nicky Morgan, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector, welcomed Prof Petersen, his wife Cheslyn, and their two sons, Curtis and Clayton, to the UFS.

The newcomers also had an opportunity to visit their respective faculties and get to know the staff and facilities better.

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