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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

Spring graduation ceremony
2006-09-15

A three-year old boy from Welkom, Kearabetswe Mokoena, stole the show at the spring graduation ceremony of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein. He was dressed in an exact replica of the academic outfit worn by his father, Mr Ketseletso Mokoena, who obtained his LLB degree from the UFS. The outfit was made by Kearabetswe’s mother Mrs Ennie Mokoena. From the left are Mr Mokoena, his son Kearabetswe, and Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.
Photo:  Lacea Loader

 

Prof Mos Thulare (acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Technology) obtained his LL.B. degree during the spring graduation ceremony of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.  On the photo, he is congratulated by Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS).
Photo:  Stephen Collett

 

Altogether five master's degrees in Physics were awarded during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony in Bloemfontein.  It is the biggest group of master's degrees in the history of the UFS Department of Physics awarded during a graduation ceremony.  From the left are:  Richard Harris, Puleng Ramoshebi, Prof Hendrik Swart (Head of the UFS Department of Physics), Lisa Coetsee and Etienne Wurth.  One of the students, Gerhard Olivier, was absent when the photo was taken.
Photo: Lacea Loader
 

Altogether 29 doctorates were awarded during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony in Bloemfontein.  Some of the doctorandi are from the left:  Drs Nicholas Mtshali (Chemistry),  Candice Jansen van Rensburg (Zoology), Ina Claassens (Physics),  Martin Ntwaeaborwa (Physics) and Vicki Tolmay (Plant Breeding).
Photo:  Lacea Loader
 

A great number of students from Africa were among the 29 students who received their doctorates during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony in Bloemfontein.  From the left are:   Drs Amaha Kassahun (Grassland Science) and Tolessa Debele (Soil Science), both are from Ethiopia.
 

A number of doctorates were awarded to students across the world during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony held in Bloemfontein.  From the left are:  Drs Eli Kohn (from  Israel who received a doctorate in Near Eastern Studies), Prof Philip Nel (UFS Department of Afro-asiatic.  Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice), Prof Annette Wilkinson (Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development at the UFS) and Dr Padmanabhan Nair (from India who received a doctorate in Higher Education Studies).  Prof Nel was Dr Kohn's co-promoter and Prof Wilkinson was Dr Nair's promoter.
Photo:  Stephen Collett

 

 

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