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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 gives recognition to excellent researchers
2004-11-16

p>The University of the Free State will give recognition to excellent researchers at UFS on Tuesday 16 November 2004. “This recognition function will also serve as the first annual lecture in research excellence,” says Prof Frans Swanepoel, Director of Research Development Division at the UFS.

 

This is the first occasion of its kind in the UFS. It coincides with the university’s centenary celebrations. The recognition of excellent research shows the UFS’s commitment and innovative focus on research as one of its core functions,” says Prof. Swanepoel.

Recognition will be given in different categories. They are female researchers, black researchers, young researchers, C- and L-Rated researchers, researchers with significant research outputs, B-Rated researchers and distinguished professors in research.

The promotion of equity and development of research capacity of designated groups is one of the objectives of the UFS’s research strategy therefore the university is recognising the research achievements of 21 women and 16 black persons. Amongst these are Prof. Margaret Raftery (English and Classical Languages), Dr Liesl van As (Zoology and Entomology), Prof. Peter Mbati (head of the Qwaqwa campus) and Prof. Charles Ngwena (Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law).

The UFS is also recognising nine young researchers. They must hold a doctorate and have the potential to establish themselves as researchers within a five-year period based on their performance and productivity as researchers during their doctoral studies and/or early post-doctoral careers. Amongst them are Dr Esta van Heerden (Microbial Biochemical and Food Biotechnology) and Prof. André Jooste (Agricultural Economics).

Fifty-eight established researchers with a sustained recent record of productivity are receiving recognition in the C- and L-rated researchers’ category. Amongst them were Prof. Hennie van Coller (Afrikaans, Dutch, German and French) and Prof. Gert Erasmus (Animal- and Wildlife- and Grassland Sciences).

Prof. Francois Tolmie (New Testament) and Prof. Gina Joubert (Biostatistics) are two of the twelve researchers that are receiving recognition for having excelled in research outputs during recent years.

Nine researchers are acknowledged in the B-category for the international recognition they receive from their peers for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs. Amongst them were Prof. Johan Grobbelaar (Plant Sciences) and Prof. Hendrik Swart (Physics). Prof. Grobbelaar focused in his research on limnology, algal biotechnology, plant stress and Prof. Swart focused on solid state physics and degradation mechanisms that are responsible for the degradation of field emission and TV displays.

Seven individuals are recognised for their exceptional achievements as researchers. Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector, but previously in the Department of Economics, is recognised for his research in two policy areas: Political Economics, Government Finance and Fiscal Policy, and Industrial Economics, in particular analysis of the South African industrial structure and competition policy, where his research contributions played a key role in reforming South Africa’s competition policy.

Prof. Lodewyk Kock (Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology) focuses in his research mainly on pure and oxidised edible oil where yeasts are used as a study model. He obtained national as well as international recognition for this research program.

The UFS is also awarding the S2A3 Bronze Medal to recognise a Master’s degree student who has delivered outstanding research in one of the sciences. Mr Pieter Taljaard and Ms Tania Venter are recognised in this category.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
16 November 2004

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