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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

Fresh new look for UFS Sasol Library
2013-02-28

The revamped entrance area of the UFS Sasol Library.
14 March 2013
Photo: Johan Roux
The UFS Sasol Library on the Bloemfontein Campus has been given a new lease on life with a fresh new look to cater for the changing study needs of students. Over the last few months several upgrades have been made to ensure that students get an effective learning experience.

These upgrades will be spread over three phases. Upgrades include newly-built overnight study facilities, partitioned study areas for postgraduate students and areas for leisure reading. Special attention has also been given to security, with the access control system and the tattle-tape security system being moved to the foyer on Level 2. This level, which used to serve only as a thoroughfare to and from the eastern and western parts of the library, has been turned into proper foyers on either side.

"The UFS Library and Information Services are on a mission to present itself as the physical and virtual information hub of choice," says Director Betsy Eister.  "The increased intake of new students and technological developments has sparked the notion of new and revamped study spaces conducive to learning.”

Eister says that, after completion of all three phases, the library will have increased study spaces that appeal to different people with different needs – spaces for studying, leisure reading, newspaper reading, accessing wired and wireless connections and spaces for discussions.

The project which started in October 2012 is part of the university's space planning projects to optimally utilise space on the Bloemfontein Campus. The project will also see the Centre for Teaching and Learning move to level three of the library.

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