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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

Wayde sets 200m SA record, and is world’s fastest in 2017
2017-06-13

 

Description: Wayde sets 200m SA record, banner Tags: Wayde sets 200m SA record, banner

Wayde van Niekerk is in great form leading up to the World Championships
in London in August. Photo: SASPA

 

He was the first South African to break the 20-second barrier in the 200m, but for the past two years Wayde van Niekerk had to be satisfied that fellow countryman Anaso Jobodwana was quicker. Now the Kovsie athlete isn’t only the national record holder again – he also is the fastest man on the planet in the 200m in 2017.

After Van Niekerk ran a 19.90, the world’s fastest this year, when he won the South African title in Potchefstroom in April, the American Christian Coleman (19.85) improved on that.

Personal best and 0.06 seconds quicker than Anaso
However, Van Niekerk ran a 19.84 in the 200m at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica, on 11 June 2017. This was 0.06 seconds quicker than his personal best, and 0.03 seconds better than Jobodwana’s national record of 19.87 at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. Van Niekerk was the first South African to run under 20 seconds in the 200m when he did so two years ago in 19.97 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Same pace a second time in a week

It was also the second time in a week that the 400m world record-holder ran an 19.84 in the 200m. This after he did it on a temporary built track at the Boost Boston Games on 4 June 2017. The race was run on a straight street course and was therefore not officially recognised as a record.

“This is definitely a positive step forward,” Van Niekerk said, according to www.iaaf.org. “I felt that I was in pretty good shape last week in Boston, I wanted to repeat that here (in Kingston).”

He seems to be in good shape leading up to his attempt to run a double, his favourite 400m and the 200m, at the World Championships in London, England, in August.


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