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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

Sesotho dictionary to be published
2008-04-15

 
Mr Motsamai Motsapi,  editor-in-chief.

A comprehensive bilingual Sesotho dictionary will be published in the 2008/2009 financial year, thanks to the efforts of the Sesiu sa Sesotho National Lexicography Unit hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS). ”Sesiu” is a Sesotho word meaning ”a reservoir for storing grains”.

According to the Editor-in-Chief of the Sesiu sa Sesotho National Lexicography Unit, Mr Motsamai Motsapi, the unit intends to continuously develop and modernize the Sesotho language so that its speakers are empowered to express themselves through Sesotho without any impediments, in all spheres of life.

The unit is one of the 11 nationally established Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) structures representing South Africa’s 11 official languages.

Their main objective is to preserve and record the various indigenous languages by compiling user-friendly, comprehensive monolingual dictionaries and other lexicographic products, and to develop and promote these languages in all spheres of life.

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Pallo Jordan, has lamented the fact that it is virtually impossible to find a bookstore in any of the country’s shopping malls that distributes literature in the indigenous African languages.

The minister said the capacity to both write and read in one’s home language gives real meaning to freedom of expression.

Therefore the publication of this Sesotho dictionary should be seen in the context of the development of the indigenous languages, as encapsulated in both the minister’s vision and that of the Sesiu sa Sesotho National Lexicography Unit.

The pending publication of this dictionary is the culmination of years of hard work invested in this project by the Sesiu sa Sesotho National Lexicography Unit.

“I believe that slowly but surely we have made some strides, as we have produced a Sesotho translation dictionary draft in 2006 covering letters A to Z. We have also built a considerable Sesotho corpus. But we still have a mammoth task ahead of us, because the work of compiling a dictionary does not end”, said Mr Motsapi.

“All Sesotho speakers should be involved, as the language belongs to the speech communities, and not to certain individuals”, he added.

He said given the reality that the UFS is situated in a predominantly Sesotho-speaking province and is part of its general community, it will always benefit the university to be part of the efforts of the South African nation to address the past by ensuring the development of the Sesotho language.

The unit is located in the African Languages Department of the Faculty of the Humanities at the UFS, and collaborates closely with the Language Research and Development Centre (LRDC) at the UFS to further the development of the Sesotho language. It is funded by PanSALB.

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  
15 April 2008
 

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