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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

DF Malherbe Memorial Lecture reflects on the role of Afrikaans
2012-06-07

 
At the DF Malherbe Memorial Lecture, from the left: Prof. Hennie van Coller, Head of the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French; Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Institutional Affairs; Prof. Wannie Carstens; and Prof. Lucius Botes, Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities.
Photo: Stephen Collett
07 June 2012

 

  • Lecture (pdf format - only available in afrikaans)

Does Afrikaans have a future in South Africa? How will the language become a truly transformed language of the new South Africa given the baggage of the image as the language of the oppressor? Will Afrikaans eventually die out?

These were the questions asked by Prof. Wannie Carstens, Director of the School of Languages at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University, when he recently delivered the 31st DF Malherbe Memorial Lecture at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS).
 
Prof. Carstens, also the former Chairperson of the Afrikaans Language Board, wanted to know whether reconciliation in Afrikaans is feasible, referring to the history of Afrikaans in South African politics. In a reference to the 1976 Soweto riots, he said a language could not be blamed for the mistakes of some of its speakers.
 
"The time is probably ripe to put this past behind us so that we can go on to reflect on Afrikaans, and in particular, the role of the Afrikaans speaker in the South Africa of 2012, and on the Afrikaans of 2060."
 
According to Prof. Carstens, an important condition for the reconciliation process of Afrikaans is to depoliticise the language. He referred to work that is being done by the Afrikaans Language Board and asked that everyone contribute to healing the Afrikaans language community.
 
"Let work together on a voice that can claim that it speaks on behalf of Afrikaans, and that might be able to contribute in the interest of Afrikaans to a truly transformed Afrikaans, or rather an inclusive Afrikaans that provides for all its speakers. When we are able to say that all Afrikaans voices are represented, only then can we truly talk of a transformed Afrikaans community."

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