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26 February 2019 | Story Eugene Seegers | Photo Eugene Seegers
Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Daniella Coetzee, South Campus Principal, Tshegofatso Setilo, Director Access, Prof Prakash Naidoo, Vice-Rector Operations
Prof Francis Petersen, Prof Daniella Coetzee (Principal: South Campus), Tshegofatso Setilo (Head: Access Programmes), and Prof Prakash Naidoo (Vice-Rector: Operations) on the South Campus for the welcoming of first-years.


“Welcome to the South Campus of the University of the Free State!” Addressing a packed Madiba Arena, Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, said he was happy to see not only first-year students, but also parents and guardians, student leadership, and support staff from both the Bloemfontein and South Campuses.

 “I would like to congratulate each of our first-year students for making the decision to come to Kovsies to further your studies here. But I would also like to thank you for making this choice,” he continued.

Prof Petersen further emphasised that the students’ experience and success as individuals are important to the UFS as an institution; therefore, academic and support staff are on hand to guide them through their journey to becoming well-rounded individuals. “We will surely take care of you,” said Prof Petersen. He also reassured parents and guardians that their loved ones would be well looked after.

The Rector also focused attention on the role of student-leadership structures, such as the newly-formed Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) and South Campus SRC, members of which were present in the audience. He thanked them for playing a key role in the student constituency, highlighting their support and guidance to help first-years cultivate a sense of belonging at the UFS.

Turning back to first-year students, Prof Petersen stated that they have the unique opportunity to study on a campus specifically focused on developing their full potential, a campus where they can realise their dreams. “Your arrival on the campus marks a new chapter in your life. This chapter is slightly different, as you are the author thereof. The previous chapters in your life were largely written by others—your parents, guardians, families, teachers, and others. You will now be the main author in the next chapter of your unique story.”

“At Kovsies, we believe in developing students in their totality as human beings, not just the academic side. May your time with us equip you to make a success of your life after university!”

Prof Petersen’s Message to First-year Students
  1. Take responsibility for your academic programme.
    • Keep your focus. Study and study hard. You will reap the rewards and see the advantages of making success in your studies a top priority.
    • Make sure that you have enough time for your studies; balance your social life and your time set aside to study.
  2. Realise and remember that you are not alone.
    • If you find things difficult, seek help.
    • Our Department of Student Counselling and Development has trained staff and tailor-made programmes that can assist you.
    • Look after your mental health—and look after each other’s mental health.
  3. Make the most of your time at Kovsies.
    • Join one or more of the student organisations; why not try something new?
  4. Embrace difference and diversity.
    • Get to know students who are different from you.
    • You will lose valuable opportunities to grow if you only associate with your own all the time. It is important to get to know students who are different from you. It could be someone from a different part of the country, or from another country, a different ethnicity, a different religion, someone who has different views from yours, or who has different interests and perspectives.

News Archive

UFS football team promoted to ABC Motsepe League
2017-06-01

Description: UFS football team  Tags: UFS football team

The Kovsies were the best football team at the SAB
playoffs held in Sasolburg gaining access to the
ABC Motsepe League in 2017/2018.
Photo: Kyle Marais

It means a lot to the football loving community at University of the Free State (UFS) and gives them something to be proud of. This is according to Godfrey Tenoff, coach of the UFS Men’s Football Team, after his team’s recent promotion to the ABC Motsepe League.

The Kovsies were crowned SAB Provincial Champions, an amateur senior league, for a second consecutive year in 2016/2017, but gained access to the ABC Motsepe League by winning the SAB playoffs on 20 and 21 May 2017 in Sasolburg. Thabo (Number) Lesibe and Tenoff was also respectively named Player and Coach of the Tournament at the playoffs. The university has been promoted to the semi-professional ABC Motsepe league for the first time since 2008.

Flirting with success over past few years
Tenoff said UFS football can now be seen as “one that can make a significant contribution to championship culture of sport at the university”.

His troops had flirted with success over the past few years, but couldn’t always translate it into championships. They finished fourth in their SAB provincial league in 2013/2014, second in 2014/2015 and in 2015/2016 won the region, but lost in the SAB provincial playoffs.

Three reasons for outstanding season
Tenoff said there are three reasons for the team’s success and it went on a 22-game unbeaten streak, with 20 games won and two drawn.

They retained most players from the 2015/2016 season and many of them were recruited during that season. Local talent from high schools in Bloemfontein were also recruited and introduced earlier – in July 2016. Lastly, Tenoff said the players and technical team were resilient and objective in their planning.

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