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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

Access to the Bloemfontein Campus
2015-04-02

Access Control Made Easy

The first phase of access control at the University of the Free State (UFS) was implemented in August 2014. The aim of this initiative is to tighten security measures on the Bloemfontein Campus.
 
Since November 2014, access control has been implemented at all five gates on the Bloemfontein Campus. These are:

  • The Main gate in Nelson Mandela Drive (Gate 1)
  • The gate in DF Malherbe Drive (Gate 5)
  • The gate in Wynand Mouton Drive (Gate 3) 
  • The gate in Furstenburg Street (Gate 4)
  • The gate in Badenhorst Street (Gate 2)

Here is some useful information about the access control system:

1. Remember your access card when you enter the campus

Dual-function cards (with distance reader compatibility) will make your movement through the gates more convenient. The university’s access system works automatically with remote or swipe action. Please make sure that you drive close to the reader or, better still, get the dual-frequency card to manage the distance between your vehicle and the remote card reader.

As of 23 March 2015, the extra security staff, who have been assisting at the gates since the implementation of access control on the Bloemfontein Campus, are no longer manning the card readers at the gates. Therefore, persons without cards will be able to enter the campus only at the one gate in DF Malherbe Drive where the Visitors Centre is situated. They will be referred to the Visitors Centre, where a day visitor’s card will be issued to them. You will need to produce a formal identification document (e.g. ID book, driver's licence).

Security will continue their normal duties at the guardhouses for the various gates on the campus.

2. Where do I get an access card?

You can apply at the university’s Visitors Centre front desk by producing your positive identification (ID book/passport/driver’s licence) and proof of payment for your access card.

You will then be directed to the Thakaneng Bridge where you will be able to collect your access card.

  • Go to the Cashier on the Thakaneng Bridge and pay your R65 for the dual-frequency card
  • Take your receipt, together with your existing card (if you have one), to the Card Division on the Thakaneng Bridge (next to Mellins Optometrists)
  • A new photo will be taken of you at the Card Office for your new card. Your new card will then be issued immediately.

Currently, there is a sufficient stock of the dual-frequency cards available at the Card Division on the Thakaneng Bridge.
 
Alternatively, you can apply online for your access card: http://apps.ufs.ac.za/cardapplication/application.aspx

Make sure you have the following documents ready to attach when completing the online form:

  • Copy of positive identification: ID/Driver's Licence/Passport
  • Signed declaration (http://supportservices.ufs.ac.za/dl/Userfiles/Documents/00007/4668_eng.pdf) by your service provider/employer (if you are a service provider) or a letter of confirmation from your spouse/partner/relative/coach/relevant UFS staff member or student in cases where you have to visit, pick-up or drop off your spouse/partner/relative frequently on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

Cost: R65 for a long-term card and free of charge for short-term visits and conference delegates. Pay at the Cashier on the Thakaneng Bridge or at Absa Bank, Account Number: 1 570 8500 71, Ref: 1 413 07670 0198.

3. Cutoff Date: 7 April 2015

After 7 April 2015, no pedestrian or motorist will be able to enter the campus without a valid access card. Persons without access cards will have to enter the campus at the gate in DF Malherbe Drive where the Visitors Centre is situated. You will then be referred to the Visitors Centre where you will have to apply for a day visitor’s card. It is important to note that no one will be able to enter the campus at the Visitors Centre without a formal identification document (e.g. ID book, driver's licence).

4. Dual-frequency card simplifies access to the campus

It is important to have your card ready on entering the campus.

This card will simplify access to the campus considerably, as the card reader will read the card when it is held in a vertical position at the driver’s side window in the direction of the distance reader. Please do not place the card on the dashboard. There is an antenna wire in the card. If the card is placed on the dashboard, you are not exposing the card surface to the reader, and that might influence the antenna’s response to the reader.

Remember, the distance between the reader and the boom is only a few metres.  If you approach the reader at a ’high’ speed, you are not allowing the system to identify your card, match it to the entry in the database, check if you are ‘legal’, and then send a signal to open the boom. 

All five gates are equipped with distance readers. Within the next three weeks, two extra distance readers will also be installed at the Main Gate in Nelson Mandela Drive.
 
Please note that the dual-frequency card is needed only when you enter the campus with a vehicle and you want to activate the distance reader. All the older cards will continue to work at the tag readers. 

5. Use alternative gates

At times, some of the gates carry more traffic than others, especially with the peak morning and afternoon traffic. Gates with less traffic include:

  • The gate in Badenhorst Street
  • The gate in DF Malherbe Drive
  • The gate in Nelson Mandela Drive

You are welcome to make use of one of these alternative gates.

6. Pedestrians

No pedestrian will be able to enter the Bloemfontein Campus without a valid access card. If you have left your card at home or have lost it, you should enter the campus at the gate in DF Malherbe Drive where the Visitors Centre is situated. You will be referred to the Visitors Centre where you can apply for a day visitor’s card. You will still need to produce a formal identification document (e.g. ID book, driver's licence).

7. More information

Email: visitorscentre@ufs.ac.za
Visitors Centre front desk: Tel: +27 51 401 7766 (Mondays-Fridays 07:45-16:30)
Card Division: Tel: +27 51 401 2799 (Mondays-Fridays 07:45-16:30)
Protection Services duty room: +27 51 401 2634 (24 hours)

 

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