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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

Golden strains: Hansgeorg Schmeiser (flute) and Albie van Schalkwyk (piano)
2008-04-15

Hansgeorg Schmeiser – an Austrian flautist and Albie van Schalkwyk – a lecturer in piano at the UFS, captivated concert-goers on Thursday evening with a virtuoso performance. This was the second time that Hansgeorg has given a performance in Bloemfontein accompanied by Albie. Despite the Easter weekend and the holiday period, the concert was well supported by the public.

With his solid gold Muramatsu flute and a celebrated pianist before the keys plus a varied programme, the two artists had the audience poised on the edge of their seats – beginning with the Sonata in G minor by J.S. Bach and followed by Franz Schubert's Theme and Variations on Trock'ne Blumen for flute and piano. After the interval they performed the Sonata for flute and piano by Martinù – a composition that is seen as one of the most important 20th century works in the flute repertoire. Schmeiser's performance of the solo piece for flute by the Japanese composer Fukushima where modern playing techniques require the achievement on various tone colours and fluctuation intensity was especially impressive.

The demanding programme was concluded with the Hungarian Fantasy for flute and piano by Albert Franz Doppler. It was no surprise that the audience demanded the two back onto the stage for an encore for which they played the second movement (Siciliano) of J.S. Bach's Flute Sonant No. 2 in E minor.

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