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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

Study Abroad Fair presents exciting opportunities
2013-04-23

 

Staff and students gain a wealth of information at the first Study Abroad Fair hosted on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Stephen Collett
23 April 2013

Kovsie staff and students gained a wealth of information at the first Study Abroad Fair hosted by the Office for International Affairs on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Representatives from partner universities across the USA, Europe and Asia took part in the fair, giving information on study opportunities abroad. They were joined by representatives of international funding agencies and foreign missions from countries including Canada, Indonesia, France and the Republic of Azerbaijan, who gave information on funding opportunities to study overseas.

Welcoming visitors, Ms Dineo Gaofhiwe-Ingram, Assistant Director: Internationalisation, said international education forms a very important and critical part of the university’s strategy of aiming and working towards becoming a research intensive university.

“I believe all here understand and know the value of an international education, both as a donor agency, as an embassy that has bilateral agreements with the South African government to support education, and as a staff member that is here with students to encourage them to go abroad. It is important that our staff and students get to learn and experience from others and others from them.”

Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations, encouraged Kovsies “to visit the world and bring the world back to the UFS.”

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, had a similar message, talking about the advantages of seeing the world. “You never get to be a good leader unless your sense of the world is bigger than yourself. My goal is to make sure that almost every undergraduate student has some experience of studying abroad.“

List of Exhibitors who took part in the Study Abroad Fair:

1. Funding Agencies
Embassy of USA
Embassy of France
Embassy of The Republic of Azerbaijan
European Union
Embassy of Canada
National Research Foundation (NRF)
Embassy of Switzerland
Embassy of Indonesia
Czech Republic Embassy
Research Africa
British Council

2. Partner Universities Abroad
Mahasarakham University (Thailand)
Appalachian State University (USA)
University of Brussels
Radboud University Nijmegen
The Hague University of Applied Sciences
University of Bremen
VU University Amsterdam
University of Groningen
University of Antwerp
University of Leuven
Jönköping University

3. UFS Representation
Postgraduate School (UFS)
Office for International Affairs (UFS)
Faculty of Education (UFS)
Department of Plant Sciences (UFS)
Department of Social Work (UFS)

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