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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

Examination format at UFS to change
2011-04-22

A new examination format is to be followed from the coming examination in May 2011 at the University of the Free State (UFS). According to this, the additional examination opportunity is to follow on the heels of the main examination.

According to the new format, students who qualify to write examinations will be compelled to write their papers during the first opportunity, and will only be allowed to write an additional examination once their applications for this examination have been approved. Students who qualify for re-assessment and special examinations will automatically be admitted to the additional examination and will therefore be exempt from the application process.
 
According to Dr Saretha Brüssow, Head: Teaching and Learning at the UFS, the Examination Committee requested the investigation of the double examination which applied previously, due to the pressure it caused on the university systems.
 
She said that, besides this release of pressure on systems such as the registration process, the back-to-back semester-based examination system might also lead to a possible improvement of the academic success rate, due to the shorter time span between the first and the second examination opportunities.
 
Students attended classes poorly in the past due to the second examination opportunity, which took place during the following semester after classes had resumed. “In some cases it is specifically the student at risk, who cannot afford to miss classes, who makes use of the second examination opportunity.”
 
Dr. Brüssow said the registration process was also affected by the previous format due to students who wanted to receive their results first before they registered. Other delays which occurred as a result of the second examination opportunity, were the first annual graduation ceremony which took place late in the year, the awarding of bursaries, and the finalisation of residence accommodation. Adding on to this problematic nature is students who occupy residences in the following academic year without a formal application in order to write during the second examination opportunity in January.
 
The new format is applicable to all students, except those in the Faculty of Health. Main and South Campus students can direct enquiries to addexam@ufs.ac.za. Qwaqwa Campus students should email addexam@qwa.ufs.ac.za.  Information on the new examination format is also available on www.ufs.ac.za.
 
 
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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