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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 law researcher part of international project to produce human trafficking reference book
2017-03-17

Description: Human trafficking reference book Tags: Human trafficking reference book


Trafficking in Persons has been in the spotlight as an ever-growing crime around the world. Research being done in South Africa by various universities over the years has yielded results that are internationally recognised.

Part of this work has been done by Prof Beatri Kruger, Research Associate at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of the Free State (UFS), who has been involved in research that has created awareness around the world on various methods of human trafficking in Africa. She is currently working on co-authoring a chapter in the International Handbook on Human Trafficking to be published by Palgrave, the first of its kind and a major reference work in this field, with Marcel van der Watt, a lecturer at the University of South Africa (Unisa) Department of Police Practice. The reference book is a massive international project that will have more than 60 international contributors and will be published in 2018.

Contribution to international research
The chapter is titled: Breaking bondages: Methods to control victims, ‘Juju’ and human trafficking. It explores the methods used by Nigerian and other West African traffickers, namely “juju” rituals, to subdue their victims for sexual exploitation in various parts of the world. The chapter further charts various physical, financial and the psychological control mechanisms, essential in establishing an informed counter-trafficking global response.

The book and other research being done is a step in the right direction in further understanding specific practices, and can be used to augment international research, support the work of NGOs, law enforcement agencies and individuals who work with victims worldwide, to be able to understand the tools used by perpetrators, and to stop the crime from growing.

Prof Kruger said there were new opportunities at the research division of the UFS Centre for Human Rights to explore human rights violations that occur in human-trafficking scenarios, thus contributing towards more efficient strategies to combat this crime.

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