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07 June 2018 Photo Supplied
Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

Machinery and equipment to the value of R6 million acquired by UFS Instrumentation Division
2015-07-02

Photo: Supplied

At an information session held on the Bloemfontein Campus, the Instrumentation Division in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) introduced its new Computer Numeral Control (CNC) machines to the value of R6 million.

Initially, the primary aim of the Instrumentation workshop was to design, produce, and maintain special research equipment which is unavailable on the market, mainly for academic departments. The small-scale production focused on producing support material and equipment for research work.

However, with new equipment and machinery the Division now also can deliver a service to corporate companies and external associates.
 
The CNC machines include a 5-axis Vertical Machining Centre from Haas imported from America. This is one of only four in South Africa, with two in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town.  The lathe makes it possible to produce sophisticated parts, which were previously cumbersome and difficult to make. The machines also cover a wide spectrum in the mechanical field such as the the FLOW Water Jet, which cuts a wide variety of material ranging from titanium to wood without utilising heat, thus saving electricity. This makes it possible to cut a wide variety of materials.

With the new machinery now available, the Instrumentation Division is able to perform high quality and quantity production with precision.

“The advantage of the machinery is that it stimulates production, and is much faster and more accurate than the conventional way of doing things,” said Pieter Botes, Head of the Division.

Botes explained that, by having students and professional artisans at the university design and manufacture equipment, costs are reduced when compared with the expensive nature of equipment and tools found in the market. In addition, “the machines broaden the scope of research conducted” said Botes. The technical dynamics of the machinery advances the scientific knowledge needed to operate it, so bridging the gap between theory and practice.

The Central University of Technology, Signs Division Bloemfontein, Product Development Technology Station (PDTS), Maizey’s, and Knottco Truckparts are some of the university’s trade partners.

The workshop collaborates with the Chemistry, Physics, Microbiology, Botany, Agriculture, and Electronics departments, as well as the Institute of Groundwater Studies at the UFS, and others. These departments receive services in the form of pipette stands, containers for test tubes, bottles, laboratory trolleys, stands for cadavers for Anatomy, pump repairs, stainless steel bailers, filaments, and heaters.

The Instrumentation Division is, therefore, a vital support unit for the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences as well as the university at large.

Companies, institutions, or individuals who need the Division’s expertise may contact Pieter Botes on botespds@ufs.ac.za.

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