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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 establishes links with the University of Ghent
2007-11-15

The University of the Free State (UFS) recently formalised its co-operation ties with the University of Ghent in Belgium. The two universities signed a memorandum of understanding during the Accenta Trade Fair, an annual event that incorporates activities such as business seminars, cultural events and exhibitions.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding took place via a live video conference linking the two institutions of higher learning.

“It was a wonderful moment because, after signing the memorandum of understanding on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Frederick Fourie, actually showed us his signature on the screen while we were in Ghent”, said Prof. Koos Bekker of the Department of Public Management at the UFS, who was part of the delegation from the Free State.

The delegation consisted of the Premier, Ms Beatrice Marshoff, and several MECs and senior officials from the Free State provincial government, as well as the mayor, councillors and senior officials of the Mangaung Local Municipality. Several staff members of the UFS were also part of the delegation.

According to Prof. Bekker, the two universities will co-operate in various areas in terms of the memorandum of understanding.

“In the short term the collaboration will be focused on bio-fuels, public management and the digital divide, while discussions in other areas such as health services and organised crime are also under way,” he said.

As part of the memorandum of understanding, the following collaborative efforts are also envisaged:

Mr Lyndon du Plessis, a lecturer in the Department of Public Management, will be enrolled for a Ph.D. at both universities as from September 2008.

A research project involving both universities, the Mangaung Local Municipality and the City of Ghent, will be undertaken.
An investigation will be conducted by both universities regarding the possibility of writing a book on performance management in the public sector (negotiations with the publisher in this regard are under way).

An exchange programme involving students and staff from both universities will be established.

Academics from the UFS delivered papers during one of the forums that formed part of the Accenta Trade Fair programme in Ghent. Prof. Koos Bekker and Mr Lyndon du Plessis from the Department of Public Management delivered papers on strategic planning in practice on the first day of the event, which was devoted to scientific seminars. On the second day Prof. Lucius Botes, Director of the Centre for Development Support at the UFS, delivered a paper on economic development issues, and on the third day Prof. Gustav Visser, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the UFS, delivered a paper on tourism.

Papers on bridging the digital divide were presented during the video conference by academics in both Bloemfontein and Ghent.

As guests of honour at the Accenta Trade Fair, the Free State delegation was allocated the main exhibition floor space, covering 1 092 m². The Main Exhibition Hall covers a total surface area of 40 000 m². The Accenta Trade Fair attracts an average of 100 000 visitors annually. The UFS also participated as an exhibitor at the Trade Fair.

This visit was a follow-up of the previous visit, during which the Free State delegation was hosted by the City of Ghent and the provincial government of East Flanders for planning purposes from 14 to 24 April 2007.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
14 November 2007
 

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