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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

Missing UFS student found
2013-04-01

 

Thabiso Moholoholo
Photo: Supplied

10 April 2013

The whereabouts of University of the Free State (UFS) student Thabiso Moholoholo have been determined. He was found to be in Qwaqwa by the South African Police Service (SAPS) who used cell phone tracking to locate the 'missing' student.

Thabiso 'disappeared' on 9 October 2012 from the Bloemfontein Campus allegedly on his way to the UFS Sasol Library. He was a second-year student doing the BSc Environmental Studies programme, and was a resident in Tswelopele Residence on the Bloemfontein Campus at the time of his disappearance.

The university’s Protection Services, with the assistance of the SAPS, went to great lengths to search for him up until he was found. The investigative work of well-known private investigator Leon Rossouw also assisted greatly in the case.

Shortly after his disappearance a message indicating that he was dead and photos of him lying face-down, covered in what seemed to be blood were posted on his Facebook page. This was followed with a similar SMS message to a friend.

It has now been discovered that Thabiso disappeared on his own initiative and that he made up the violent photos for his Facebook page with the help of a friend.

The senior leadership of the university and residence leadership of Tswelopele are obviously relieved that he was found and thank everyone who worked tirelessly to locate the student.

The university has spent considerable time and extended its limited financial and human resources all in an effort to find this so-called missing student; his conduct is completely unacceptable. The stress on the family, fellow students and the university community as a whole is incalculable.

The university therefore views this staged disappearance in a grave light and considers this act to constitute very serious student misconduct, which could result in disciplinary action and possible expulsion.

 
Media Release
10 April 2013
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

 

 

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