Connect With Student Affairs


Kovsie ACT: Food Environment
Community Gardens

Our Kovsie ACT Community Gardens project works towards enhancing food security among our students. With the support of our office, several student communities have started to grow and maintain their own vegetable gardens to help nourish their fellow food-insecure students. 

During the extensive lock-down period of the Covid-19 pandemic, this project has been able to provide fresh produce to many of our students in the area, as well as struggling NPOs. 

This service learning project not only gives students the opportunity to help address the issue of hunger, but also enable Kovsie students to become responsible and caring citizens. In addition, participants gain first-hand experience of how to create sustainability in their environments and broader community. 

Our ideal is to have all our on- and off-campus residence communities involved in the project. If we realise this goal, we will have at least 28 vegetable gardens that can feed around 540 students per week!

This is a long-term project that aims to offer a sustainable and lasting solution to food insecurity among our students. To carry the Community Gardens project into the future, the university’s Food Environment task team—which includes the No Student Hungry (NSH) programme and the Central Foodbank—works closely with Kovsie ACT and the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Development and Extension.

How do I get in contact?
If you would like to get involved in our Community Gardens project, you are welcome to contact Kovsie ACT directly:
Email: ACT@ufs.ac.za.
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Office of Arts, Culture and Dialogue
A central belief of the Office of Arts, Culture and Dialogue is that in order to create a humanising and caring institutional culture at the UFS, we need to value both diversity and the power of collaboration. Through the pursuit of social justice and critical diversity, we aspire towards creating a socially cohesive student body, student life and UFS community. In order to achieve this, the office draws on the fields of the arts, culture and dialogue to build relationships among our university communities that are based on empathy and understanding.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic Higher Education Institutions (HEI) worldwide, there is an increase need for collaboration in finding solutions for what might well become a new norm. COVID-19 also amplified socio-emotional concerns due to student isolation and life disruption. In order to provide much needed socio-emotional support amidst the COVID-19 pandemic for the HE environment, the Office of Arts, Culture and Dialogue are initiating additional programmes to support our student community specifically during this time.

Some of these initiatives include our Communities of Care programme, #ISeeU social media campaign, and the Covid(conver)sations to address challenges faced by HE during the pandemic.

How do I get in contact?
For more information on the Office of Arts, Culture and Dialogue and our programmes, or if you would like to get personally involved in any of our initiatives to support fellow Kovsies, you are welcome to contact:
Angelo Mockie: mockiesma@ufs.ac.za
Michelle Nöthling: nothlingm@ufs.ac.za
Louzanne Coetzee: CoetzeeL2@ufs.ac.za

Or you can visit us virtually on Blackboard, Facebook (UFS Arts and Culture), and Instagram (ufs artsculturedialogue).
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KovsieCast
KovsieCast are podcasts that are specifically designed to help you achieve academic success. Each week, we publish two podcast episodes on subjects that provide guidance and information to support students—especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This initiative is brought to you by KovsieFM—a division of the university of the Free State (UFS) Student Affairs—in partnership with the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Some of our recent podcasts include: 
UFS Career Services talks to Ruda Landman about GRAD
Managing online assessments with Ninette Aucamp
Online habits for success and netiquette with Rethabile Marumo
Dealing with distractions with Masabata Mosoeu
10 Habits of highly effective students during #Lockdown with Gugu Tiroyabone
Learning from different devices with Monique Schoeman
Manage your learning with Khethiwe Bhiyo
What Skills you need to "Future Proof" yourself with Belinda Janeke

Listen to these and more episodes at: https://iono.fm/c/5300

How do I get in contact?
To listen to our latest—or any of our previous—podcast episodes, visit: https://iono.fm/c/5300

You can also follow KovsieFM on social media: 
Twitter: @kovsiefm97
Facebook: @kovsiefm97
Instagram: @kovsiefm97

For further information or enquiries, contact:
WhatsApp: +27 79 855 0998
Email: 97studio@ufs4life.ac.za

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Career Services
Career Services at the UFS offers a range of services and resources designed to assist students in developing the employability skills they need in today’s world of work.

Wherever you are in your academic career, we will help you explore your career and achieve key management skills.

We also provide services to employers to advertise, interview and recruit our talented students (for both temporary and permanent positions).

Career development is a continuous process which Career Services can teach you through Workshops, our very own Resource Centre as well as Career Fairs. Annual Career Fairs are presented where potential employers (companies and businesses) exhibit their possible career opportunities, and we invite guest speakers to discuss the 21st century world of work with you.

How do I get in contact?
For more information, please visit our webpage, or contact: 

Belinda Janeke
Head: Career Services (and Student Relations)
T: +27 51 401 7393
E: career@ufs.ac.za

Carmenita Redcliffe
Career Services (Company Relations)
T: +27 51 401 9199
E: career@ufs.ac.za

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Gateway Orientation Programme
Gateway is not just a two-week period programme, but a preparatory programme aimed at assisting first-year students with their transition into the university environment. The programme does this by supporting first-year students in the following four areas:

Registration: 
Provides assistance to first-year students with the registration process.

Transition: 
Assists first-year students with the transition from high school to university through first-year seminars.

Sense of Belonging: 
Creates links to the community and provides a sense of belonging through partnering first year students with a mentor by means of the P3 Mentorship Programme.

Life Success: 
Fosters responsible citizenship and engaged scholarship through community service and other co-curricular programmes within Student Affairs and the greater university environment.


The Gateway programme helps our new Kovsie students become part of the university community in the following ways:

Student Communities:
At the beginning of their first academic year, all new Kovsie students are assigned to a peer mentor group. Each peer mentor group consists of 10-15 students that all belong to a specific college (and therefore also to a mid-level student community, such as a residence) and a specific faculty. In this way, all members of the group come from the same residence college and faculty. This kind of grouping allows the Department of Student Affairs to form socially cohesive pockets within colleges that are academically supportive.

Co-curricular programmes:
Co-curricular programmes are introduced during the Gateway Orientation programme to all new students at the beginning of their first academic year. The socially layered system of student communities—as described above—also forms the platform for continuously distributing information about co-curricular programmes and extra-curricular activities.

Specialised services:
The Gateway Orientation programme servers to introduce new students to all the specialised services that are offered across the three UFS campuses. Again, the socially layered system of student communities—as described above—act as a basis to continuously raise awareness and refer students to specialised support when needed. These student support services include, amongst others, the Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), Student Counselling and Development (SCD), the Social Support Unit, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Important partnerships:
The Gateway office has forged strong partners with important institutional stakeholders in order to open different pathways that enable student success—with the main focus on academics. Our office has, for example, partnered with the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) around the UFS Summer School; with Student Academic Services regarding registration; and with Kovsie Communication and Marketing in relation to marketing and the welcoming events. The Gateway office also works closely with the various faculties on faculty-specific orientation, and as well as with student leadership structures and associations to help engage students during their study period at the university.

How do I get in contact?
Students can become a Gateway Buddy to help support our new Kovsie students. Applications to become a Gateway Buddy open every year between the period August and September. Application forms are emailed to all students via their UFS4LIFE email address during this period each year. Information on how to apply will also be advertised on Blackboard as well as all other UFS social media platforms.

If you would like to contact us directly, you are welcome to use any of the following contact details:
Tel: +27 51 401 9876
Email: gateway@ufs.ac.za

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