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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 again involved in this year's Science Expo
2009-08-21

The annual Science Expo will once again take place at the South Campus (formerly known as the Vista Campus) of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein from 20-22 Augustus 2009.

This is the 25th year that the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science at the UFS is involved in the project as one of the main sponsors for the regional competition. This involvement stems from the institution’s endeavour to promote a love for science amongst youth at an early age already. In this way, new thoughts and development are stimulated with regard to science.

The total involvement of the faculty amounts to approximately R25 000, which includes:

  • The sponsoring of prizes and gift hampers for 220 medallists
  • The sponsoring of two floating trophies awarded to the primary and secondary school with the most Gold medals, as well as R1 000 cash for the two winning
    schools as prize money
  • The sponsoring of medals for the best project for Grades 4-7, Grades 8-9 and Grades 10-12
  • The sponsoring of merit bursaries to the value of approximately R1 800 for the
    best project: Grades 10-12 at the Science Expo
  • The sponsoring of a special prize for the best project in Soil Sciences to the
    value of R500
  • The venue is made available for free for the project
  • The sponsoring of other expenses to the value of R10 000

This year approximately 432 participants entered for the Science Project. The best projects will participate in the National Science Expo in Pretoria from 2-3 October 2009, where a group of learners will be selected to go to the International Science Expo.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
20 August 2009

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