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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

Art2 + x [science] = 2 continents fused
2014-04-02


Left: Diamandini by Dr Mari Velonaki. Right: 'Muslim Hairdrying' by Cigdem Aydemir.

Mzanzi resistance art is set to fuse with Australian interdisciplinary art in an experimental ‘boiling pot’ – right here on our Bloemfontein Campus.


Program for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD)

Kovsies and the Vryfees forged a highly-innovative link between South African and Australian artists by establishing the Program for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD). Together we are embarking on a three-year collaboration to see what happens when experimental and community arts are fused.

The project includes intercultural laboratories, art and science exchange programmes, public forums as well developing and presenting experimental art.


Art(ist)s meet science(tists)

For the first time, two Australian artists will visit our Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences in an exchange programme. The one is Dr Mari Velonaki, director of the Creative Robotics Lab at the University of New South Wales. The other is Dr Nigel Helyer, an honorary research fellow at the SymbioticA biotechnology lab at the University of Western Australia.

Dr Velonaki will explore new links between humans and computers that are community orientated. She will work closely with Prof PJ Blignaut and the Department of Computer Science and Informatics. In turn, Dr Helyer will investigate genetic coding and intercultural musical compositions. He will collaborate with Prof J Albertyn at the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology.

Vryfees 2014 and 2015 will also see contemporary and highly-experimental works from renowned Australian artists Cigdem Aydemir and Jess Olivieri. In addition, the festival will present OPENLab – a new national laboratory for early and midcareer artists and creative practitioners interested in making art in the public realm.

The programme is the result of a close partnership between the Vryfees and Situate Art in Festivals, managed by Salamanca Arts Centre in Australia (www.situate.org.au).

It also enjoys the support of:

  • Australia Council for the Arts;
  • NSW Artists Grant Scheme administrated by the National Association of the Visual Arts LTD;
  • Situate Art in Festivals;
  • National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and
  • Modern Art Project SA.

For more information on Piad visit www.vryfees.co.za or https://www.facebook.com/pages/PikoPiad/1435158293383474.

 

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