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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 lays criminal charges against students
2008-02-28

Statement by Mr Anton Fisher, Director: Strategic Communication at the University of the Free State (UFS)

The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) has today instructed its attorneys to formulate criminal charges against four students who were involved in the production of an extremely offensive and racist video.

This follows other action taken late yesterday to prohibit two of the four students from the Reitz men’s residence from the campus. The other two students who can be seen in the video have since completed their studies and are no longer on campus.

Further steps are in the pipeline as the internal disciplinary procedure of the university must also take its course.

The Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof. Frederick Fourie, has condemned the video and the gross violation of human rights that it portrays and has promised to deal swiftly and firmly with this matter.

This morning Prof. Fourie met personally with the workers who were tricked into taking part in the video and apologised to them face to face. Counselling is being arranged for the workers.

The management has also suspended lectures today in a proactive step to allow the emotions of staff and students to calm down. Lectures will resume tomorrow (Thursday 28 February 2008).

This follows a protest march earlier today against the extremely offensive and racist video which shows white students staging a mock “integration” of black workers in the residence.

After the march the management received memoranda from student organisations and two trade unions, NEHAWU and UVPERSU, about the video.

The students and the unions have made certain demands that the management will consider and respond to as soon as possible.

While the march proceeded peacefully, there have been sporadic incidents of intimidation and damage to property. Five students were arrested.

Prof. Fourie has appealed to students to act in solidarity with the management against the scourge of racism and to support the UFS in its policy to integrate student residences.


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  
27 February 2008
 

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