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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

Mandela Day celebrated with R5 coin laying
2012-07-09

On 18 July 2012, the University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with Pick n Pay Hyper in Bloemfontein, will celebrate Nelson Mandela Day with a special R5 coin laying ceremony.

The festivities kick off at 12:00 on the Red Square at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu will make a special appearance at this event and also deliver a short message.

Schools in the vicinity, UFS staff and students and the public are invited to take part in the coin laying ceremony.

Ms Marissa van Jaarsveld, the coordinator of the Nelson Mandela Day celebrations at the UFS, says the money collected at the event will be used to benefit the No Student Hungry (NSH) campaign, as well as Bloemfontein Child Welfare. NSH is an organisation on the Bloemfontein Campus that provides food bursaries to hungry students with good academic records.

Requests have been sent to schools to collect R5 coins for the event and representatives from the schools will attend the coin-laying.

These schools will be acknowledged for their contributions and there are prizes up for grabs for the primary and high schools that collect the most money.

Learners will deposit their coin contributions during the 67 Minute programme of giving back to the community and they will take part in fun activities. Participating schools are encouraged to be as creative as possible when handing over their R5 contributions.

On the day, there will also will be people with tins at the main entrances to the university for those who want to make a contribution.

The NSH-campaign will also show its support for eradicating world hunger on this day by helping Pick n Pay Hyper in Bloemfontein to package food parcels for the Stop Hunger Now campaign. The packaging of the food parcels will also take place at the UFS.

Members of the public and the media are invited to attend the festivities.
 

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