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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

Student protest against integration of the Main Campus residences
2008-02-21

The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) is extremely concerned about the actions of some of our students who have committed public violence, crimen injuria and damage to property last night (Wednesday, 20 February 2008) on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

The management condemns these criminal acts in the strongest terms. We are concerned about what appears to be an orchestrated campaign to frustrate the implementation of the new residence policy on diversity.

We remain committed to ensuring a safe campus for staff and students to engage in the academic activities of the UFS and will take the necessary legal steps to avoid a repeat of these incidents.

Normal academic and other activities are continuing and have not been disrupted. We are appealing to all staff and students to remain calm.

We note the contents of a memorandum that was handed to the management regarding the integration of our student residences.

We remain committed to the implementation of the Council approved policy on increasing diversity in our residences as part of a new institutional culture for the UFS.

We also remain committed to engaging with students on these and other matters. In fact, several meetings have taken place over the past few weeks with the Student Representative Council (SRC) and with primes about student issues.

We would like to appeal to student leaders to follow the established channels to address their concerns.

These channels have been successful in the past in addressing student concerns and we see no reason why they cannot succeed in the current situation.

The management will meet with student leaders as soon as is possible to engage with students on these matters.

However we want to reiterate that criminal behaviour and misconduct will not be tolerated.

Media Release
Issued by: Anton Fisher
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 3422
Cell: 072 207 8334
E-mail: fishera.stg@ufs.ac.za  
21 February 2008
 

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