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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

Oncology department celebrates 50 years of excellence
2017-09-07

  Description: Oncology photo Tags: Oncology, cancer, University of the Free State, UFS, Dr Alicia Sherriff, Faculty of Health Sciences

The UFS Department of Oncology celebrated 50 years of
existence. Prof Louis Goedhals says that the department
is like a family that will carry and support you.
Photo: Wendy Ruth
 



South Africa could see an increase of 78% in the number of cancer cases by 2030 and from a global perspective, a 75% increase is expected, increasing the total incidence of all new cancer cases from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030, according to a recent study published by medical journal Lancet. According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), more than 100 000 South Africans are diagnosed each year. It is rather comforting that the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Faculty of Health Sciences has an Oncology department that has been fighting cancer for 50 years. 

Excellence over the decades 
The 50-year celebration of the Department of Oncology took place at the UFS Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus on 19 August 2017. The auspicious event was attended by UFS Faculty of Health Sciences registrars, radiation oncology radiographers and professional nurses who had trained in the department over the past 50 years, as well as the current departmental staff.

Dr Alicia Sherriff, Head of the Department of Oncology welcomed the dignitaries and thanked everyone for their attendance and dedication to the department, Prof Louis Goedhals, the oldest surviving head of department, gave a summary of the 50 years. He said once you were involved with this department you became part of a family that would carry and support you. Memories were shared and friendships rekindled. The message of this department that stood the test of time was: “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always … and to bring hope”.

UFS dignitaries reveled in the moment 

Among the special guests were the Rector and Vice Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences; the Free State MEC for Health Mr Butana Komphela, and CEO of Universitas Hospital Dr Marcus Molokomme, were invited. The function was well attended by personnel, graduates from as far as Portugal, and dignitaries from the university. There was a sense of unity and belonging among all the attendees and enthusiastic catching up over the years that have passed.

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