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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

RAG resilience shines despite rain
2017-02-07

Description: Rag 2017 Tags: Rag 2017

Winning float for 2017: Armentum, Vergeet-My-Nie,
and Emily
Photo: Lelanie de Wet 

Although the 75th RAG festivities were challenged by ominous weather, in true Kovsie spirit students and organisers still made a gleaming success of the day. 

Students help to create sunny feeling
On 6 February 2017, the annual float-building activities culminated in the handing over of schoolbags to 150 learners from schools in and around Bloemfontein. This took place at the Rag Farm on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free (UFS), since the morning procession to Twin City Mall in Heidedal had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

“It is of course a huge disappointment to all of us that the events had to be cancelled, but we are grateful for the rain,” said Karen Scheepers, Head of Kovsie Rag Community Service and Assistant Director: Student Affairs.

The evening KFC Rag procession took place as planned, with students having the option of taking part despite the weather. Unfortunately, the Chevrolet Music Festival had to be cancelled.

“The very important actors of today are our students who have worked long hours to build the floats and who have worked together to make this rainy day on the outside feel sunny inside,” said Prof Francis Petersen, incoming UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector, when he addressed the crowd at the Rag Farm. Prof Petersen will take up office on 1 April 2017.

Armentum, Vergeet-My-Nie, and Emily take honours
Armentum, Vergeet-My-Nie, and Emily Hobhouse were the overall winners of the 2017 Rag float-building. “It was worth the hard work. Always remember to ask for advice during float-building,” said Pieter Kotze, RC Rag of Armentum residence on the Bloemfontein Campus. “I also want to thank both the RC Rag from Vergeet-My-Nie and Emily Hobhouse.”

The float theme was Proudly South African, and the winning float encapsulated it with local flavours such as Chappies, a Rooibos tea box and a Lion matchsticks box. They also went the extra mile by incorporating each hostel’s logo within a Chappie design.

The Central Rag Committee would like to thank all their sponsors who made the events possible. The Rag Coronation Ball will take place on 17 February 2017, where the new Rag Queen and Mr Rag will be crowned.

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