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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 has a contingency plan for load shedding
2008-02-13


The University of the Free State (UFS) has put in place a contingency plan to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the normal academic operations of its Main Campus in Bloemfontein whenever load shedding occurs.

The plan includes alternative arrangements for certain lectures that fall within the load-shedding schedule provided by Centlec, the emergency power generation for certain lecture halls and buildings, as well as the functioning of the UFS Sasol Library. This is in addition to emergency power equipment that has already been ordered for the larger lecture-hall complexes.

Fortunately, the Qwaqwa Campus has adequate emergency power generation capacity. The situation on the Vista Campus in Bloemfontein is being monitored, but the same guidelines will apply as on the Main Campus.

On the Main Campus in Bloemfontein the following alternative arrangements regarding the timetable for evening classes will come into effect when load shedding occurs:

  • An alternative module and venue timetable has been compiled so that classes that cannot take place on weekdays as a result of load shedding can be accommodated on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Classes that are presented in the timeslot 18:10 to 21:00 on Thursdays are alternatively accommodated in the same venues at the same times on a Friday.
  • Classes that take place in the timeslot 20:10 to 22:00 on Wednesdays are alternatively accommodated in the timeslot 08:10 to 12:00 on Saturdays, in a few cases in different venues from those scheduled initially.
  • After consultation with students, lecturers will decide whether the alternative timetable will apply when load shedding does indeed occur or whether the alternative timetable will be a permanent arrangement.

Some other steps that have been taken regarding the functioning of lecture halls include:

  • The design and installation of emergency power equipment in all the large lecture-hall complexes within the next few months. This includes the Examination Centre, Flippie Groenewoud Building, the Stabilis and Genmin lecture halls.
  • The ordering of a larger generator for the Agriculture Building to simultaneously provide essential research equipment such as refrigerators, ovens and glasshouses with emergency power.
  • An investigation into the optimal utilisation of present emergency power installations.
    The purchasing of loose standing equipment such as battery lights, uninterruptible power supplies, loose-standing generators, etc.

The UFS Sasol Library will continue as normal as far as possible though there may be some minor changes as a result of load shedding. The library has an emergency generator that will be used in the event of load shedding to allow students and other users to exit the library. If load shedding occurs during daylight hours, the library will remain open with limited services. If the load shedding occurs after 6 pm (18:00), all users will be allowed to exit and the library will remain closed until the next day.

A comprehensive investigation into the university’s preparedness for and management of long term power interruptions is also receiving attention.

More information on the contingency plan for load shedding can be obtained from the UFS website at www.ufs.ac.za/loadshedding.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
13 February 2008


 

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