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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

Access meets quality in UFS-Varsity College partnership for law degree
2012-07-30

 
At the event were, from the left: Mr Frank Thompson, CEO of ADvTECH, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, and Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the UFS.
Photo: Johan Roux
30 July 2012

The University of the Free State (UFS) and Varsity College this week officially launched a partnership whereby the university’s Faculty of Law will offer a four-year Bachelor of Law qualification through the UFS School of Open Learning on eight Varsity College campuses nationwide. This new degree will be offered as early as 2013.

This is the fulfilment of a dream, said Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the university. He was one of the speakers at the event that was attended by staff members and management from the, Faculty of Law, the university’s South Campus, Varsity College and ADvTECH.

The UFS Faculty of Law is one of the oldest and most distinguished faculties of law in South Africa, and has a close association with several overseas universities which ensures that the institution is internationally recognised.

“I am very positive and enthusiastic about this new partnership. We want to make this an enriching experience for staff and students from both the university as well as Varsity College,” Prof. Henning said.

The CEO of ADvTECH, Mr Frank Thompson, said he is overjoyed about the project and its potential. Varsity College is a brand of the ADvTECH Group, a JSE listed company invested in human capital.

“This is a new beginning for Varsity College and the UFS. Learning together, the slogan for this project, is very appropriate. We are excited to add new students to the university and Varsity College’s line-up,” Mr Thompson said.

Varsity College is part of the Independent Institute of Education (IIE), the leading provider of private higher education in South Africa. According to Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of the IIE, the partnership between the IIE and the university is an example of the potential that is inherent in public-private partnerships to increase the range of high quality options available to students.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, who also was one of the speakers at this event, said with this partnership, students will get the best of both worlds in accessing higher education.

The Faculty of Law will ensure that students obtain both a thorough grounding in legal theory, as well as a solid practical foundation, and Varsity College, through a strong commitment to innovative teaching and learning, will empower more students to become legal graduates of the highest calibre. Thus, the innovative partnership between the UFS and Varsity College will produce a Bachelor of Law degree that is highly sought after in the legal profession.

This partnership is the first of its kind, paving the way for increased collaboration between public and private tertiary institutions to best serve the education sector and the future of graduates.

“This is what is possible when two dynamic partners like the university and Varsity College come together,” Prof. Jansen said.
 

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