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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

African values important for transformation, says deputy minister
2007-11-06

The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Enver Surty, says real transformation in education cannot take place if African values and belief systems are not put at the centre of educational practices.

Mr Surty was speaking last night at the launch of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

According to the Deputy Minister of Education, the launch of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State shows a strong commitment by the university to transformation.

“It shows the readiness on the part of the institution to create and consolidate space for African epistemologies as a way of reclaiming our African identity”, Mr Surty said.

He said the launch provided all stakeholders with a golden opportunity to influence curriculum development in schools so that it better reflects the understanding and the desire to learn more about Africa. He said this cannot happen without a sound knowledge produced by Africans, which can then be shared with the rest of humanity.

“It is no longer tenable that African scholars should take a back seat and merely consume, often uncritically, knowledge systems that have been produced and sifted through other minds. Similarly, our intellectual pursuits cannot take place in isolation. Indeed our fountains of knowledge could only be deepened with more exposure to, and critical engagement with other systems of knowledge across the world”, he said.

According to the Director of the Africa Studies Programme at the UFS, Prof Phillip Nel, the Centre for Africa Studies will focus on the issues and challenges of Africa and make the context of Africa a part of the UFS’s academic activities in a sustained and innovative way.

The centre will closely co-operate and liaise with prominent African initiatives and structures like the African Union, Pan-African Parliament, Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and many others.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@mail.ufs.ac.za  
 

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