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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

Student leaders 2012/13 announced
2012-08-30

Ready for the task - Sabelo Khumalo, SRC President of the Qwaqwa Campus and William Clayton, SRC President of the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Johan Roux
31 August 2012

The 2012/13 elections for the Student Representative Councils (SRC) of the University of the Free State were completed successfully and show meaningful support for the changes in student governance adopted by students across campuses over the past two years.

The SRC elections at the Qwaqwa Campus were completed on 23 August 2012, while the elections at our Bloemfontein Campus took place on 27 and 28 August 2012.

The SRC Elections at our Bloemfontein Campus showed a voter turnout of 4516 votes (30.8%), with the elections at the Qwaqwa Campuses showing 1753 votes (46%) – both campuses reached the required quorums and the IEA (Bloemfontein Campus) and IEC (Qwaqwa Campus) declared the elections free and fair and announced the results as a true reflection of the will of the student bodies at the campuses.

The full SRC at Bloemfontein Campus now consists of 62% black and 38% white, and 53% female and 47% male members.

In the Qwaqwa elections, SADESMO achieved 46, 38% of the vote, with SASCO, PASMA and NASMO each achieving 30,23% and 8,39% and 14,26%, respectively.

The successful elections at Bloemfontein Campus show that the detailed transformation of student governance introduced by students at the Campus in 2010 and adopted by the university in 2011, succeeded in mobilizing greater participation of students in governance and representation. These changes in the main included a shift to independent candidacy for elective portfolios (12 seats) and organizational candidacy in nine sub-councils that holds ex officio seats on the SRC. Changes also included the establishment of student representative seats in faculty governance and management forums and the adoption of a reviewed Central SRC Constitution. Ex officio seats hold full and equal constitutional authority in the SRC.

Students at Qwaqwa Campus introduced additional portfolios to its SRC, including ex-officio seats for academic affairs, arts and culture, commuter students, Rag Community Service, religious affairs, residences and sports.

A joint sitting of the Campus SRCs will establish the Central SRC 2012/13 on 9 September 2012.

As a further opportunity for participation in and the development of student governance and representation, the current Central SRC herewith also announces its recent adoption of a student governance advisory programme, namely the UFS Student Elders Council (SEC).

The SEC is established as a combined programme between the Central SRC and the Dean of Student Affairs and will consist of selected senior student leaders from all campuses who completed their terms of office, apply and are appointed to the Elders Council by the Central SRC.

The Council will serve as an advisory structure to the Central SRC and other student structures in support of the continuous development of student governance and representation of the student body at the university.

The SEC will advise the Central SRC to be constituted following the constitution of the respective Campus SRCs.

The SRC members at the Bloemfontein Campus are:

President: Mr William Clayton

Vice-President: Mr Bonolo Thebe

Secretary: Ms Karis-Robin Topkin

Treasurer: Mr Pieter Coetzee

Arts & Culture: Ms Chanmari Erasmus

Accessibility & Student Support: Ms Gene McCaskill

First-generation Students: Ms Tanya Calitz

Legal and Constitutional Affairs: Ms Nokuthula Sithole

Media, Marketing & Liaison: Ms Neo Chere

Sport: Mr Tshepo Moloi

Student Development & Environmental Affairs: Ms Thabisile Mgadi

Transformation: Ms Koketso Mofokeng

Dialogue & Ex officio: Associations Council: Mr Anesu Ruswa

Academic Affairs & Ex officio: Academic Affairs Council: Ms Nombuso Ndlovu

Residence Affairs & Ex officio: Residences Council: Mr Johann Steyn

City Residence Affairs & Ex officio: Commuter Council: Mr Michael van Niekerk

Postgraduate Affairs & Ex officio: Postgraduate Council: Mr Fadeyi Akinsuyi

International Affairs & Ex officio: International Council: Ms Tumelo Moreri

Student Media Affairs & Ex officio: Media Council: Mr Jamal-Dean Grootboom

RAG Community Service & Ex officio: RAG Fundraising Council: Mr Jaco Faul

RAG Community Service & Ex officio: RAG Community Service Council: Ms Keneue Mahloana

The SRC members at the Qwaqwa Campus are:

President General: Mr S Khumalo

Deputy President: Mr P T Lenka

Secretary General: Mr D Khethang

Treasurer General: Mr S I Sithole

Media & Publicity: Mr S N Ntombela

Politics & Transformation: Tbc

Student Development & Evironmental Affairs: Tbc Academic Affairs: Mr T Molawude

Arts & Cultural Affairs: Mr T Nkohli

Off-Campus Students: Mr B Mtshali

RAG, Community Service & Dialogue: Ms S F Mlotya

Religious Affairs: Ms D C Khau

Residence & Catering Affairs: Ms Z Mzolo

Sports Council: Mr S Mngomezulu

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