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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

A Kovsie parade through Bloemfontein's streets
2014-02-04


Photo: Albert van Biljon

The community of Bloemfontein came out in numbers to watch the annual Kovsie Rag procession on Saturday 1 February 2014. Young and old lined the roads around the Bloemfontein Campus to get a glimpse of the colourful floats moving through the city’s streets. Onlookers showed their support for the UFS’s charitable fun drive, dropping coins in the money tins of first-year students who made their way through the crowds.

Celebrating the hard work of students who spent hours building floats, festivities kicked off with a morning parade to Heidedal and Mangaung. Here the Rag Office distributed 10 000 meals to members of the community.

With a beloved Hollywood panda as their inspiration, JBM, Soetdoring and Imperium residences were crowned winners of the movie-themed float-building competition later the evening. Their Kung Fu Panda float led the way as the main procession made its way to the Chevrolet Cricket Stadium for a night of celebration with music stars Mango Groove, Zakes Bantwini and Robbie Wessels.  

Mango Groove had the audience on their feet playing well-known hits like Special Star, Moments Away and Hometalk. Robbie Wessels and Bantwini also didn't disappoint, with the audience stomping feet to their music. In addition, partygoers were treated to an amazing fireworks display that lightened up the Bloemfontein night sky.

Float-building results: 

  • Overall winners: JBM, Soetdoring and Imperium 
  • Winners Pool A: JBM, Soetdoring and Imperium
  • Winners Pool B: Welwitchia and Tswelopele 

The overall assessment of floats was made up of 100 points. The impression of the floats on the little ones was very important, as children judges awarded 25% of the score. They gave a mark out of 10 and it was converted to a mark out of 25.

The assessment by the adult judges counted for 75 points. The criteria were as follows:

  • General impression and colour: 25 points
  • Detail: 25 points
  • Did the float complement the theme: 15 points

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