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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 launches unique project to honour great teachers
2011-04-21

Dedicated, hard-working, inspiring and motivational ...

These are the kind of teachers the University of the Free State (UFS) is looking to honour in their Great Teachers Project.
 
When one is confronted by most images of teachers in the mainstream media, these are rarely the words that come to mind, though. However, for many young men and women these are exactly the traits which they saw in their teachers, and which inspired them to become South Africa’s next generation of poets, painters, architects, mathematicians, drummers, pilots, lawyers, philosophers, doctors, accountants, community developers and more.
 
One rarely hears about the truly great teachers from our past and present who are the driving force behind the successes of many of our greatest achievers. The teachers who go the extra mile to convey the intricate beauties within their subjects, lead an exemplary life and produced the activists, critical thinkers and leaders we all cherish.
 
Therefore, the UFS and the Sunday Times have joined hands in identifying 150 of the greatest teachers, who moved, inspired and transformed South Africans during their time at school. These are the teachers who stood out among their colleagues and made a lasting impact on their learners, inspiring them to excel, long after the mathematical equations and English literature tests are forgotten.
 
The stories will be collected and assembled on a central database and categorised, edited and represented into a coherent array of powerful accounts of inspired and inspiring teachers.
 
A book entitled Great Teachers will be published in December 2011, detailing the stories of these great individuals. The introduction to the book will present the plan and process that led the storied collection.
Those who are interested are invited to submit a 500 to 750 word essay on any teacher who made an impact in their life and submit it to greatteachers@ufs.ac.za before 30 May 2011.
 
All proceeds from the sales of the book will be used to provide bursaries to student teachers of today, who may become the great teachers for tomorrow’s generation.


Media Release
21 April 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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