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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

Student Council welcomes international students on campus
2017-03-16

Description: International students on Qwaqwa Campus  Tags: International students on Qwaqwa Campus

Some of the guests and International Student
Council (ISC) members during the welcome
function. From the left are: Tatenda Goche (Deputy
Chairperson), Loice Nzombe (Chairperson),
Bulelwa Moikwatlhai (Office of International
Affairs), Jennifer Ashafa (Secretary), and
Takudzwa Nyamunda (Chairperson on the
Bloemfontein Campus)
Photo: Thabo Kessah

SRC President Njabulo Mwali says that the presence of international students on the Qwaqwa Campus is very welcome as it enables students from all over the world to learn from each other.  He was addressing the International Student Council’s welcome function for international students.

“One important area where South African students can learn a lot from international students is hard work. It is an open secret that many of us, as South Africans, are not as persistent as we should be. We give up easily,” he said to an audience of students mainly from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of the Rectorate, the Registrar: Systems and Administration, Dr Karen Lazenby, assured international students that the UFS is committed to their emotional and physical wellbeing.

International students face various challenges

“Having been an international student myself, I fully understand your various challenges. If you have any ideas on how we can make your stay here as memorable as possible, please help us to help you,” she said.

Both Drs Elsa Crause and Dipane Hlalele, respectively Campus Vice-Principal: Academic and Research and Acting Campus Vice-Principal: Support Services, congratulated students on choosing the Qwaqwa Campus.

“Our campus will give you many opportunities to reinvent yourself both as a person and a student,”   Dr Crause said.

Dr Hlalele added: “International experience is fascinating as it does not only provide different types of knowledge and truth, it also enriches the campus with an African and international footprint.”

The Office of International Affairs also presented its services to students.

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