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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

Old Mutual Investment Group invests in our students
2013-07-22

 

Old Mutual Investment Group’s Imfundo Trust scholars with Mr Muhammad Brey (far left) and Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS (far right).
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
22 July 2013

“I am one step closer to entering the corporate world as a young woman. My dream is to work for a large firm and now it is possible,” said Melody Motaung, a B Accounting first-year student. She is one of the first recipients of the Old Mutual Investment Group’s Imfundo Trust scholarship, which was launched at the university recently.

Melody is one of seven Kovsies and 91 students countrywide to benefit from the R20 million trust, aimed at empowering black professional people in the financial sector. Kovsies is now one of eight universities whose students benefit from the trust. It already empowers students from the University of Johannesburg, UNISA, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of the Western Cape, University of Fort Hare, Stellenbosch University and Rhodes University.

”The UFS embodies the excellence and innovation we are looking for in tertiary institutions,“ Mr Muhammad Brey, trustee of the trust, said during the launch. He conveyed that the main aim of the trust is to address the shortage of black professional investors in South Africa and to expand the source of suitably qualified individuals in the asset management industry.

The seven recipients, all of them female first-year students, were encouraged by the speakers to do their part in addressing South Africa’s skills shortage in the financial sector.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, said with the assistance of the Old Mutual Investment Group, the students – four of them B Accounting students – will help to address the shortage of chartered accountants in the country. “As qualified financial experts, they can make a big contribution.”

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