06 December 2021 | Story Temba Hlasho

Dear Student,
I trust that this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health.

The 2021 academic year has presented numerous changes in the Department of Student Affairs (DSA). However, we remained resilient to continue providing needed support to all students on our three campuses. 

As we conclude the 2021 academic year, it is a golden opportunity for each and every one of us to introspect by reflecting on our academic journey, identifying shortcomings, opportunities to help us reimagine, reconstruct, and improve going forward. This reflection does not serve to intentionally create discomfort, but rather to create an opportunity for all of us to be self-aware and gain a depended perspective of the direction we should be taking in 2022. 

I would like to congratulate Kholeka Mtshali and Nonstikelelo Ntima, who participated as finalists in the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) national competition. The competition was highly contested, with more than 75 applications and only 6 student entrepreneurs competing. Furthermore, both students were invited to pitch for the Free State Innovation Drive 2021 and Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards (GSEA) competition, which will take place in February next year. The DSA is excited about students being engaged in their communities and their personal development. In the same breath, I urge you to explore your out-of-classroom experiences to enhance your skill and development, as well as the development of your community. 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the global 16 Days campaign.  The campaign kicked off nationally on 25 November 2021. The Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Office (GEADO) will be hosting a placard campaign for the global 16 days.  As a Kovsie, I encourage you to embrace the values of inclusive society and to oppose any form of violence against women and children.  Further, we are living in perilous times, we need to be vigilant; you are encouraged to stay safe, wear your mask, sanitise, and vaccinate.

We can now look ahead into the new biennium with confidence, hope, and resilience. In the 2022 academic year, I encourage you to take some time to explore student life opportunities, whether it be arts, sports, campus competitions, making new friends, joining an organisation, or getting involved in community projects.  Your participation will sharpen your skill sets for the world of work and the entrepreneurial space. 

To our final-year students who might not be returning to our campuses for postgraduate studies – congratulations on completing this big milestone! As you enter the world of work or venture into an entrepreneurial environment, please remember that there is no script for life after university – but be bold and courageous on the path you choose. 

To our postgraduate students who will continue to enhance their academic outfit at the UFS – the DSA is here for you, let us hear about your experiences and expectations.  We are geared to interact more with you in the new year to make your postgrad study experience a memorable one.  

I therefore bid you well for the holidays and urge you to stay alert and safe during the festive season. I hope that you will all take time during this holiday season to relax, recharge, and reflect on all that you have accomplished this year. I look forward to seeing you all upon our eventual return to campus. Best wishes for your continued health and well-being in 2022!

Thank you to all the students who participated in our campaigns and activities during the year. Please continue to support the DSA in 2022. In the same breath, please be safe, wear a mask, wash your hands, sanitise, and practise social distancing, but most importantly, stay at home as far as it is practically possible.

To remind yourself about the services offered by the Department of Student Affairs, please follow the link for more information.

Mr Temba Hlasho
Executive Director: Student Affairs 

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