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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 mourns the passing away of Prof. Leo Barnard
2009-04-02

It is with sadness that the management of the University of the Free State (UFS) heard about the death of Prof. Leo Barnard. He passed away yesterday afternoon in the George Medi-Clinic as a result of cancer.

Prof. Barnard was associated with the UFS for many years and was Head of the university’s Department of History from 1997–2008. He was appointed as research associate at the department after his retirement last year.

“Prof. Barnard was one of the few military historicists in South Africa. He was amongst others a member of the South African Historical Society and also served on several professional organisations such as The South African Academy for Science and Arts,” said Prof. André Wessels, Head of the Department of History at the UFS.

He served on the editorial committee of the Journal for Contemporary History, an accredited academic journal published by the Department of History at the UFS. He was editor of this journal for ten years. “Prof. Barnard played an important role in the development of the journal, especially in the publishing of special editions. When he passed away, he was working on the latest edition of the journal, which deals with the so-called border war,” said Prof. Wessels.

Prof. Barnard was especially well-known for his mentorship to Master’s and Doctoral students. “At the time of his death he was still providing guidance to students,” said Prof. Wessels.

Prof. Barnard did a lot of research and writing for the UFS’s centenary publication, From Grey to Gold – The first 100 years of the University of the Free State.

“We also sympathise with Mrs Renaldine Barnard and the couple’s four daughters, Eda, Arina, Leona and Elfrieda, their two sons in law and one grandchild. Prof. Barnard has left a gap in the hearts of the people who knew and worked with him at the UFS,” said Prof. Wessels.

The memorial service will be held on Friday, 3 April 2009 in the community hall of Vleesbaai in the Western Cape.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel:051 401 2584
Cell:083 645 2454
E-mail:loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
1 April 2009
Prof. Leo Barnard

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