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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

Report card outlines major achievements
2005-02-04

Staff at the University of the Free State (UFS) have received above-inflation increases in remuneration averaging 18,2 percent since the year 2000, according to the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Frederick Fourie.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Official Opening of the UFS today, Prof Fourie gave a report card for the UFS which he said indicated significant progress in salaries and promotions as well as capital expenditure and infrastructure development on the campus.

“The aggregate extra earnings of staff (money in their pockets above inflation) from 2000 to 2005 amount to R75 million in salaries. This is the result of the hard work of all staff and we pay tribute to them,” he said.

Prof Fourie said that several categories of staff are better off than before the financial turn-around strategy was implemented in 2000 which aimed to make the UFS a financially sustainable campus.

The lowest paid workers and professors had received an additional structural correction, which gave professors at the UFS a 27% above-inflation increase (on total remuneration package) since 2000.

He said there had also been a dramatic increase in promotions to associate professor and full professor during the last 6 years.

From 1999 to December 2001, there were only 9 promotions to associate professor. From January 2002 to January 2005, there were 37 such promotions to associate professor, four times as many.

Regarding promotions to full professor, from 1999 to December 2001 there were 7 promotions. From January 2002 to January 2005, there were 31 promotions to full professor, more than four times as many.

“We have also created a new category of senior professor to give due recognition to the outstanding work of our leading academics in many fields,” Prof Fourie said.

The UFS has introduced numerous new and innovative learning programmes, together with an increasing number of community service modules which enhanced the UFS as a leader in service learning and helped to make it a university engaged with its surrounding community.

According to Prof Fourie the number of support staff had also grown along with the professionalisation of the support services.

He said management was aware that there still several challenges regarding staff overload and staff development but that these were being addressed

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za

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