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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

Learners to benefit from UFS Partnership for academic excellence
2013-02-21

 

Thokoana Makaota learners listening attentively during the launch of the partnership with the UFS.
Photo: Thabo Kessah
21 February 2013

The university’s quest for academic excellence in the education system paved the way for the Faculty of Education on the Qwaqwa Campus to enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with a local school, Thokoana Makaota Secondary.

This recently launched partnership will enable learners who are currently in grades 10-12 to attend supplementary classes on the campus.

“The aim of this partnership is to expose learners from the school to adequate tuition in subjects that are generally perceived as difficult. We want them to gain as much confidence as possible when tackling these subjects, therefore they will be using our well-equipped laboratories and classes”, said Dr Lekhooe Letsie, the Programme Coordinator.

“We will also benefit from this as our own final-year education students will act as tutors. This will help them gain confidence before they venture into the real job market next year,” Dr Letsie said.

Dr Letsie also revealed that the student-teachers will be closely monitored by their mentors to ensure maximum success.

The school’s Deputy Principal and UFS alumnus, Serame Sello, said that the school felt humbled by this gesture from the UFS.

“We are confident that this working relationship will yield very positive results for the school and enable us to improve on the 84% pass rate obtained in 2012,” Sello said.

“We did not do so well in the subjects that will be covered here. For instance, we obtained 43% and 61% in Physical Science and Mathematics respectively, but with this partnership we hope for improved results this year,” said Sello.

Other subjects to be covered include Geography, Life Sciences, Economics, and Accounting. The different grades will commute to and from campus on different afternoons.

 

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