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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

Former Kovsie wins Absa L’Atelier
2012-07-27

Elrie Joubert
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
24 July 2012

A former Kovsie has taken top honours at the Absa L’Atelier Art Competition.

Elrie Joubert, who completed her master’s degree at the Department of Fine Arts in 2010, is the first Free Stater who has won the competition for young artists between 21 and 35. This puts her in the company of previous winners such as Penny Siopis and Diane Victor. As the overall winner, Joubert receives a cash prize of R110 000 and a six month stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France.

Her winning entry, Selective Unveiling, consists of a light-table with a private collection of miniature natural objects, a digital microscope used by the viewer to inspect the objects, as well as a projector that projects the microscope’s image directly on a screen.

“By making my private collection public, I expose myself to possible investigation and criticism,” says Joubert about her winning entry. “The process is, however, reversed when the viewer is also robbed of his/her ‘privacy’ in collecting images with the microscope, which are projected on a screen for other viewers to see.”

Joubert, who lectures in Drawing and History of Art of Graphic Design at the Midrand Graduate Institute’s Bloemfontein Campus, says the Absa L’Atelier is the biggest competition she has won thus far. In 2007 and 2010 she reached the final rounds of the SASOL New Signatures Art Competition.

Her advice to art students: “Keep on doing what you do, learn to handle criticism selectively, and above all, if you take no risks you’ll never win.”


 

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