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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

Centre for Africa Studies concludes ANC Centenary Dialogue series
2013-02-20

 

Attending the closing seminar were from left: Prof Chris Saunders, Editor of the ANC Centenary dialogue book; Vincent Khetha from the Free State Provincial Government’s Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation; Prof Kwesi Prah; Siphamandla Zondi, Editor of the ANC Centenary dialogue book; Dr Dennis Goldberg and Prof Kwandiwe Kondlo.
Photo: Steffi Cawood
20 February 2013

Speech:"The future of South Africa in Africa" (pdf)

The Centre for Africa Studies received praise for the series of dialogues it hosted on the ruling ANC party, conversations which started before the party held its 53rd National Conference on our Bloemfontein Campus.

The Centre recently hosted the last seminar in the ANC Centenary Dialogue series, a project which started in November 2010 when the ruling party prepared for its centenary celebrations in 2012.

Prof Kwandiwe Kondlo, former Head of the Centre, and currently professor at the University of Johannesburg, told guests at the closing seminar, "it was a job well done which kept dialogue going on". Prof Kondlo said a book with a collection of papers presented during the series is being finalised, with senior ANC officials expected to attend the book launch on the Bloemfontein Campus later this year. The book features chapters by scholars like Profs Stephen Ellis, Shireen Hassim, Colin Bundy and Ben Turok and covers topics on the role of women in the liberation struggle, the party's economic policy and the history of the party in exile.

Speakers at the closing seminar included Prof Kwesi Prah, whom Prof Kondlo introduced as "one of Afica's intellectual giants,” struggle veteran, Dr Dennis Goldberg and the new Head of the Centre for Africa Studies, Prof Heidi Hudson.

Prof Prah, who delivered the keynote address, spoke about "The future of South Africa in Africa."

 

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