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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

Shimlas get back on track
2014-02-26

The Shimlas overpowered a startled UJ side in Bloemfontein on Monday, scoring seven tries en route to a 52-16 victory in the fourth round of the Varsity Cup competition.

The UFS’s second win in four weeks saw them climb the log standings to a well deserved third position. The Shimlas took an early lead in the match, with blindside flank Oupa Mohoje scoring the opening try from an attacking line-out.

Our boytjies was on a roll, with wing Maphuto Dolo scoring in the corner after a break from a scrum by scrumhalf Kevin Luiters. Kovsies' flyhalf Gouws Prinsloo knocked both conversions over to put our team in a commanding 16-0 lead before the first strategy break. Not long after, the Shimlas scored their third try as left wing Sethu Tom found the corner to make it 21-0. T his was followed by yet another onslaught when Shimlas’ skipper, Joubert Engelbrecht, crashed over for the bonus-point try. Outside centre, Tertius Kruger, put even more pressure on the UJ side when he crossed the try line, leaving the Shimlas with a 34-0 lead at half-time.

Prinsloo slotted a penalty early in the second half for Shimlas, followed by skipper Engelbrecht’s second try. After 15 minutes into the second half, UJ managed to score two converted tries to change the scoreboard to 44-16. T his did, however, not spur the visitors on to complete a comeback and the Shimlas' Divandré Strydom gave our team the last say with one final try.

The scorers:
For FNB UFS-Shimlas:
Tries: Oupa Mohoje, Maphuto Dolo, Sethu Tom, Joubert Engelbrecht (2), Tertius Kruger, Divandré Strydom
Cons: Gouws Prinsloo (5)
Pen: Gouws Prinsloo

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