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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

Business School in top ranks of survey
2012-02-15

 
UFS Business School
Photo: Liezl Muller

The UFS Business School was ranked amongst the top business schools in South Africa in a survey by Finweek and MBAConnect.net. MBAConnect.net is the biggest social network for MBA graduates in South Africa. 

More than 10 000 MBA graduates and students were invited to take part in the survey and 1 575 of them completed it. More than half of the respondents are in senior or executive positions.
 
Prof. Helena van Zyl, the Director of the UFS Business School, says any business school has a moral obligation towards its alumni to ensure that the quality of the qualification that they obtained is maintained, that network opportunities are created for graduates, and that job opportunities are communicated, etc. Investment in and involvement with the alumni are non-negotiable as they form the backbone of a business school.
 
The UFS Business School’s results are listed below. The respondents rated the school as the school with the highest:
  • percentage of respondents saying they had definitely made the right choice in doing an MBA: second with 92% (average 86%)
  • score in leadership effectiveness: third with 8.9 (average 8.7)
  • decision-making effectiveness: shares first place with 9.4 (average 9.1)
  • credibility in business: second with 8.9 (average 8.6)
  • impact of an MBA in changing industries: third with 8.3 (average 7.9)
  • score for influence of an MBA in starting your own business: second with 8.5 (average 6.9)
  • percentage of respondents saying an MBA was definitely worth the price paid: shares first place with 80% (average 72%)
  • score for changing the outlook of students: shares first place with 9.3 (average 8.9)
  • score for improving people’s views of their own potential: shares first place with 9.5 (average 9.1)
  • score for helping people become better leaders in their personal lives: shares third place with 8.3 (average 7.8).
The UFS Business School shared first place with its alumni averaging the shortest payback period amongst those who thought the MBA was worth it. Its score was 1.1 years (average 1.8 years)
 
The report says across all schools, at least 73% of students report a negative impact on their stress levels. In the worst case, this goes up to 94%. The impact on the UFS’s students was the lowest at 18%. The average was 81%. At least a quarter of students in all schools report a negative impact on their health, and it goes up to 47% in the worst case. The UFS got 0 (nil) in the category for serious impact.
 
Alumni of the UFS Business School were very satisfied with the school. These results are as follows:
  • Helps keep business knowledge up to date: third (6.5)
  • Provides networking opportunities: first (7.3)
  • Informs about business events: second (8.9)
  • Communicates regularly: first (9.2)
  • Helps access MBA-level jobs: second (6.2)
  • Helps build personal brand: first (5.2)
  • Helps start or grow business: first (5.2)
 

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