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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

Video made by a student residence
2008-02-27

Statement by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Frederick Fourie

A video, made by residents of the Reitz men’s residence on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, surfaced this morning (Tuesday, 26 February 2008) and was brought to my attention.

The Executive Management (EM) of the UFS condemns this video in the strongest possible terms as a gross violation of the human dignity of the workers involved.

We have immediately started with a most urgent investigation into this matter. The students involved have been identified and we are going to take steps to suspend them.

We are also going to lay criminal charges with the South African Police Service against the students concerned.

I am deeply saddened that students apparently see nothing wrong in producing such an offensive and degrading video. I have publicly said several times that the UFS is not a place for racism.

The UFS does not want such actions and people who indulge in it, on our campus.

The fact that it is openly linked to the integration process in UFS residences is also most disturbing.

I want to apologise to our colleagues who were unwittingly involved in this video and to the broader South African public.

Our staff unions Nehawu and Uvpersu have also condemned this incident.

The university is going through a difficult time with its efforts to racially integrate its residences and to create a new residence culture based on diversity, respect, human dignity and human rights.

These kinds of actions make it all the more important that we succeed with establishing such a new institutional culture on the campus.

I appeal to all staff and students to remain calm and to act in the best interests of the university.

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  
26 February 2008

 

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