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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

UFS and Free State department of Agriculture take hands
2007-04-02

During the visit to the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences of the University of the Free State (UFS) were, from the left: Mr Casca Mokitlane (Member of the Executive Committee for Agriculture in the Free State), Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk (Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS) and Mr Tshepiso Ramarakane (Head of the Department of Agriculture in the Free State).

Photo: Stephen Collett
 

There is a need for the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Free State Department of Agriculture to work together as partners to pursue the development of agriculture in the province.

Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS and Mr Casca Mokitlane, Member of the Executive Council (MEC) in the Free State, recently held investigative discussions to determine how a more focused strategic leadership for the development of agriculture in the province can be established.

Mr Mokitlane visited the faculty on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein and exchanged information with Prof. Van Schalkwyk on development issues in agriculture. Certain important agricultural issues between the faculty and the department was identified in order to build a more vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry in the province.

A few issues that would contribute to the building of relationships for sectoral development such as agricultural research, the training of small farmers and the department’s guidance officers, the support of community projects and targets for the land reform process were also discussed.

Mr Mokitlane visited nine departments within the faculty, among others the Lengau Agricultural Training Centre, where he had short discussions with prospective black farmers.

According to Prof. Van Schalkwyk thorough training of black emerging farmers was discussed. It was clear to him that small farmers who have already completed their training are a priority for the faculty. Further discussions will continue at a later stage.

Mr Mokitlane was also informed about the research done at the faculty, training programmes offered and the roles the different divisions are playing in terms of community service. Postgraduate students informed the delegates of their specific research and studies.

“We have great appreciation for the time Mr Mokitlane and his colleagues from the Department of Agriculture spent listening to what the faculty can do for agriculture in the Free State and also the rest of the country,” said Prof. Van Schalkwyk.

“Both parties are in agreement that the one cannot function without the other. We must move closer to each other in the interest of agriculture to face the challenges ahead,” said Prof. Van Schalkwyk.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
30 March 2007

 

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