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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

Young Shimla team reach Varsity Cup semi-final
2017-03-29

Description: Young Shimla team reach Varsity Cup semi-final Tags: Young Shimla team reach Varsity Cup semi-final

The Shimlas will be hoping that some of their stars,
like the brilliant flanker Phumzile Maqondwana, will be
on form in the 2017 Varsity Cup semi-final against
Tuks in Pretoria.
Photo: Johan Roux

The pressure in the Varsity Cup semi-final is on Tuks, which will be reason enough for Shimlas to play with freedom.

This is according to Jaco Swanepoel, Shimla assistant coach, on the big challenge awaiting his young rugby team in Pretoria on 3 April 2017. He says because Tuks are the favourites, it could be to the advantage of the visitors. Maties and the University of Johannesburg are playing in the other semi-final in Stellenbosch on the same day.

Tuks did Shimlas a favour
Tuks’ victory of 43-28 over the Pukke in Potchefstroom on 27 March 2017 helped the Shimlas, who had a bye, to end fourth on the log with 23 league points.
Shimlas had to make use of several new players this year, and few experts would have given them a chance of reaching the semi-finals. Swanepoel says although they are proud of this achievement, only a place among the top four was never their end-goal.
    
Good to be the underdog

The Shimlas lost their league match against Tuks in Bloemfontein with 19-65. This, as well as the fact that Tuks was at the top of the log with 34 league points, underlines the huge task ahead.
“The previous result (against Tuks) is encouragement for the players to show: We aren’t that much worse than Tuks,” says Swanepoel. “Perhaps it is good to be the underdog. We actually have no pressure on us and I hope the players feel the same way.”

Three teams in knockout matches
All three Varsity Cup teams from the University of the Free State (UFS) reached the knockout matches. Apart from Shimlas, the UFS Young Guns played against Tuks in a semi-final in Bloemfontein on 27 March 2017, but lost by 21-45. On 17 April 2017, Vishuis will meet the Puk’s Patria in the residence finals.

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