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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 forms a strategic partnership with Yale University
2010-03-16

 
At the official inauguration of the Jonathan Edwards Center Africa was, from the left, front: Prof. Harry Stout, Chair of the Department of American Religious History at Yale University; Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS; back: Prof. Dolf Britz, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center Africa at the UFS; Prof. Kenneth Minkema, Executive Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University; Prof. Adriaan Neele of Yale University, now also Professor Extraordinary in the Faculty of Theology at the UFS; and Prof. Francois Tolmie, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett


The University of the Free State (UFS) officially inaugurated the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa in its Faculty of Theology last week. This centre, affiliated with the Jonathan Edwards Centre Yale University in New Haven in the United States of America, was established at the UFS last year.

The strategic partnership between the UFS and Yale University exemplifies the vision of the Faculty of Theology to be an internationally renowned theological and training faculty.

Leading scholars from Yale University, Prof. Harry Stout, Chair of the Department of American Religious History, and Prof. Kenneth Minkema, Executive Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale participated in the inauguration of the Jonathan Edwards Center Africa.

The Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Prof. Francois Tolmie said, “This visit underscores the strategic relationship between Yale University and the Faculty of Theology and will assist in us continuing to foster high aspiring scholarship, student and faculty support.”

This is an exciting development between universities renowned for excellence in learning, and innovation in scholarship. Prof. Minkema added, “The establishment of this renowned center for research, education and publication, at the UFS is a significant expansion of Edwards scholarship and will serve widely both academia and the church,” Said Prof. Stout.

The Faculty of Theology also announced the appointment of Prof. Adriaan Neele of Yale University as Professor Extraordinary. The appointment follows the vast growth of the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa. “I welcome this appointment with much anticipation as the strategic relationship between Yale University and the Faculty of Theology develops in unprecedented ways, attracting doctoral students from Southern Africa, South Korea and America,” said Prof. Tolmie.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), pastor, revivalist, Christian philosopher, missionary, and president of Princeton University, is widely regarded as North America’s greatest theologian. He is the subject of intense scholarly interest throughout the world, because of his significance as a historical figure and the profound legacy he left on America’s religious, political and intellectual landscapes.

“The centre and appointment of Prof. Neele will provide sustainable scholarship of primary sources in new and promising ways, said Prof. Dolf Britz, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Africa at the UFS.

“My appointment at this prestige university of Southern Africa is both an honour and humbling. I look forward to a beneficial and academic engagement with students, as well as to serve the academy and the church,” said Prof. Neele.

Prof. Neele’s inaugural address entitled A Transitional Moment in Theology argued for the classicality and catholicity of Edwards’ theology.

The interest in Edwards globally has in part been fuelled by the work of the Jonathan Edwards Centre at Yale University, whose sole mission is to support inquiry into the life, writings, and legacy of Jonathan Edwards by providing resources that encourage critical appraisal of the historical importance and contemporary relevance of America’s premier theologian.

The primary means to achieve this are with the Works of Jonathan Edwards Online, a digital learning environment for research, education and publication that presents all of Edwards’s writings, along with helpful editorial materials that allow the reader to examine Edwards's thought in incredibly powerful, useful ways.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
15 March 2010
 

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