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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

Maestros from the world stage now lecture at the Odeion School of Music
2014-02-19

 
Prof Ruth Goveia

 
Danré Strydom

 
George Foster

The Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently endorsed its commitment to excellence with the appointment of three exceptional performing artists and lecturers.

Prof Ruth Goveia (piano), Danré Strydom (clarinet and saxophone) and George Foster (brass instruments) all hold international qualifications. In addition, all of them have received tutelage from world-renowned mentors and performed across the globe. Their respective CVs are awe-inspiring – to say the least.

Prof Goveia has been appointed as an associate professor at our university. She obtained her doctorate in Music in Piano from the Jacobs School of Music at the Indiana University, USA, after completing her master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati. Prof Goveia has gained immeasurable experience while holding positions at several prestigious institutions, including the Albion College in Michigan and the Indiana University.

As a soloist, Prof Goveia’s performances are staggering. She has appeared in a number of recitals across America and even performed as a guest artist at the Kalamazoo College of Music. She took part in the Chamber Music Project of the New York-based Artur Balsam Foundation, and collaborated with clarinetist Randall Paul on a duo tour of Georgia and Alabama.

Danré Strydom has been appointed as a junior lecturer in clarinet and saxophone. She will also co-ordinate the woodwind programme at the OSM. Her training began in Windhoek, Namibia, and continued on to the prestigious Jacobs School of Music in Indiana, USA. From there she joined the Ghent Conservatoire in Belgium, reading for two master’s degrees – completing both cum laude. Strydom has performed with several renowned orchestras ranging from the Vlaams Brabant Symphony (Belgium) to the Sinfonietta Breda (Netherlands).

George Foster is filling the position of a junior lecturer in brass instruments. He completed his BMus degree at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town where he received the Anton Rupert Merit prize. As former Fulbright scholar, Foster read for a master’s degree in Music at the University of North Texas. During his study period in the USA he was a member of the University of North Texas Wind Band, the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra. Here, he gained invaluable experience as a conductor as well.

Strydom and Foster are performing their duties at the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO), as well as the OSM. They will both play an integral role as musicians and collaborators within the activities and initiatives of the FSSO, and serve as coaches and instructors for the Free State Youth Orchestra.

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