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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

UFS outperforms SA higher education in EU-Saturn programme
2016-12-14

Description: Erasmus Mundus Tags: Erasmus Mundus 

Partnering between the UFS and other institutions
makes it possible for staff and students to study abroad.
Pictured from left front, are: Mareve Biljohn (EU-Saturn
at University of Groningen), Memory Mphaphuli (INSPIRE
at University of Ghent) and Wanda Verster (EU-Saturn at
Uppsala University). Back: Moliehi Mpeli (Erasmus Mundus
at University of Leuven).
Photo: Stephen Collett

The University of the Free State (UFS) strives to invest in its staff and students and a proven example can be seen in the latest cycle of the Erasmus Mundus EU-SATURN programme.

The UFS outperformed the higher education sector over the past five years as it had more exchange scholarships than most South African universities. A total of 16 (18%) out of the 89 local scholarships allocated until 2016 were from UFS. Stellenbosch University, with 14 scholarships, was second.

University one of main roleplayers
Chevon Jacobs, Senior Officer said: “Internationalisation at the UFS is a great achievement as the university allocated all available scholarships to eligible staff and students. She said the strong partnership history between the university and some European institutions, due to a similarity between the language and culture of especially Dutch-speaking countries, is one of the reasons for the success.

“We are very proud of our participation. We have invested for these predominantly young members to spend time abroad in furthering their qualifications,” she said.

The EU-Saturn project has been jointly co-ordinated for the past five years by the University of Groningen, Netherlands, and the UFS.

One of few projects funded by Erasmus Mundus
The Erasmus Mundus is an international partnership aimed at enhancing the quality of European higher education and the promotion of dialogue and understanding between people and cultures through co-operation with other countries. The EUROSA, EU-Saturn, Aesop and INSPIRE to name a few, are all programmes funded by the European Union through the Erasmus Mundus. These projects offer fully funded part-time or full-time postgraduate scholarships for study in Europe.

Some of the universities UFS students have studied at are the University of Groningen, the University of Newcastle, England, and the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Successful UFS grantees awarded scholarships over the past five years:
•    Maria Campbell (2014 – PhD) – University of Newcastle
•    Sethulego Matebesi (2014 – PhD) – Uppsala University
•    Lindie Koorts (2016 – PhD) – University of Groningen    
•    Reginald Makgoba (2013/2014 – Master’s) – University of Newcastle
•    Sanet Steyn (2013/2014 – Master’s) – University of Groningen  
•    Johnathan Adams (2015/2016 – Master’s) - Göttingen University
•    Eben Coetzee (2013/2014 - PhD) – University of Groningen
•    André Janse van Rensburg (2013/2014 – PhD) – University of Ghent
•    Martin Rossouw (2013-2015 – PhD) – University of Groningen
•    Jan Schlebusch (2013-2016 – PhD) – University of Groningen
•    Carel Cloete (2014-2016 – PhD) – University of Groningen
•    Nadine Lake (2014-2016 – PhD) – Uppsala University
•    Elbie Lombard (2014-2016 – PhD) – University of Ghent
•    Luyanda Noto (2014/2015 – PhD) – University of Ghent
•    Mareve Biljohn (2015/2016 – PhD) – University of Groningen
•    Wanda Verster (2015/2016 – PhD) – Uppsala University

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