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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

Deputy Minister leads a space science outreach programme in Bloemfontein
2014-02-28

The Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Michael Masutha and Mandla Maseko– the first black South African expected to go into space in 2015 – will participate in a Space Science Outreach Programme at the University of the Free State on Saturday 1 March 2014.

The event, taking place at the Bloemfontein Campus, is part of an outreach programme to raise awareness about South Africa’s advances in space science and technology and its benefits to society.

Mr Maseko will share his exciting experiences in the Axe Apollo Space Academy competition, a challenging event that included skydiving, aptitude tests and building and launching a rocket with about 600 learners from the surrounding areas. The 25-year-old from Mabopane near Pretoria will become the first black astronaut when he goes into space on the Lynx Mark II Shuttle, next year.

The outreach event will include activities such as telescope making and rocket launching. Workshops demonstrating the benefits of space science in areas such as earth observations, scientific research and development and human capital development, will also be conducted.

Among others, the open day will feature exhibitions such as the project to build the world’s largest telescope, the Square Kilometre Array and the recent launch into space of the country’s micro-satellite – ZACUBE1 built by post-graduate students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Other exhibitors will include the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO), the Agricultural Research Council, Denel Dynamics, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the South African Weather Services (SAWS).

Officials from the provincial Department of Basic Education are also expected to attend.

Journalists are invited to the outreach

Venue: Economics Building, University of the Free State
Date: Saturday 1 March 2014
Time: 08:00

For more information, contact Veronica Mohapeloa at +27(0)82 882 3818 or +27(0)12 843 6788 or email veronica.mohapeloa@dst.gov.za OR David Mandaha at +27(0)72 126 8910 or david.mandaha@dst.gov.za

 

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