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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

Future of Reitz Residence still to be decided
2008-04-22

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

Reports in some media today (Monday, 21 April 2008) may have created the impression that the University of the Free State (UFS) has made a decision not to close the Reitz Residence where four former students produced a racist video.

This is incorrect. No such or any other decision on the future of Reitz Residence has been taken. The UFS Council mandated management last month to consider the possibility of closure of the residence and of its conversion into a beacon of transformation, hope and liberation (either as a residence or in some other form). Persons who will be affected directly by such a decision (and others) were given the opportunity to make written submissions for consideration by management.

The "Nasionale Unie van oud-Reitzmanne" is a grouping of former students and one of many groups that utilise this opportunity. They held a meeting in Bloemfontein this past weekend where the call was made for Reitz to remain open as a residence. This call was reported as if it was a decision of the UFS.

Their submission will be considered along with the various written submissions that have been made and they are being carefully studied. When this process is over, the University will make an announcement on the future of the residence.

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  
21 April 2008

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