First-year students welcomed

2016-02-03 06:00
THE first-year students of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Qwaqwa Campus pay attention to Prof. Jonathan Jansen (vice-chancellor and rector) as he addresses them during the 2016 welcome ceremony at the university. Photo: Supplied

THE first-year students of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Qwaqwa Campus pay attention to Prof. Jonathan Jansen (vice-chancellor and rector) as he addresses them during the 2016 welcome ceremony at the university. Photo: Supplied

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PHUTHADITJHABA. – “A degree means nothing if you are not a decent human being. Academic excellence without human embrace means nothing.”

These were the words of Prof. Jonathan Jansen, vice-chancellor and rector of the University of the Free State (UFS) during the welcoming of the 2016 first-year students.

The ceremony, held at the new Geo/Phy-sics Auditorium on Tuesday, 26 January, was attended by over 600 students.

The first-year students on the Qwaqwa Campus received a warm welcome when the entire rectorate and other senior UFS officials arrived to welcome them.

Leading the delegation was Jansen, whose inspiring message was well received by students and those parents who were in attendance.

“What keeps me going, is your determination to come to the University of the Free State to start your life.

“You have done the right thing. Do not forget that you are smarter than you think.”

He said he was sure that if they could give every student a chance to share their stories, they would hear heartbreaking things. He added that they had to overcome poverty, disadvantage and abuse at one stage.

Jansen encouraged first-year students to do more than just obtain a degree whilst at the university.

“This university is good, not only in ensuring you get the best qualifications.

“Graduating and continuing to disrespect women is not good enough. Graduating and still continuing to be biased against gay people is not good enough.

“Getting a degree and still thinking you are better than others just because you have money is not good enough.

“A degree means nothing if you are not a decent human being,” he concluded.

Paseka Sikhosana, the student representative council (SRC) president, highlighted the importance of academic excellence that is backed by human embrace.

“Human embrace and academic excellence are two very important aspects that we strive for,” Sikhosana said.

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