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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

Full week of graduation ceremonies at UFS in April
2015-04-10

Autumn always sees the UFS’s first graduation ceremony of the year on the Bloemfontein Campus.

From 14 – 17 April 2015, graduates will once again be rewarded for their hard work while top speakers will address them in the Callie Human Centre. There will be a ceremony at 09:00 and at 14:30 each day on all four days of the graduation.

The programme for the 2015 April Graduation is as follows:

Tuesday 14 April 2015:

Professor Himla Soodyall will be the speaker at both ceremonies on this day. Prof Soodyall is a Medical Scientist for the South African Institute for Medical Research. She is also a Principal Medical Scientist for the National Health Laboratory Service, and a Director for the Human Genome Diversity and Disease Research Unit at the University of Witwatersrand.

During the first ceremony of the day at 09:00, all diplomas/certificates and B degrees in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences will be awarded. Only Honours degrees in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences will be awarded at the 14:30 ceremony.
 
Wednesday 15 April 2015:

Wednesday will see Ndumiso Hadebe take the stage to address graduates at both ceremonies.

At the age of 23, Hadebe is the Founder and Managing Director of Master Frontiers Consulting, a firm that capacitates leaders and managers to achieve business goals through their people. He worked previously as a Researcher at Shanduka Black Umbrellas, a flagship enterprise and supplier development programme of the Shanduka Foundation. 

He has been received numerous awards for excellence in leadership, such as the Sedibeng District Municipal Mayor’s Award for Service and Leadership. He is a Brand South Africa Ambassador and Read Educational Trust Ambassador.

All diplomas/certificates, B and Honours degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, except B Com degrees, will be awarded during the morning ceremony at 09:00. Later, at the 14:30 ceremony, only B Com degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will be awarded.

Thursday 16 April 2015:

Multiple award winning South African TV presenter, Leanne Manas, will be the speaker at both Thursday ceremonies.

Manas has graced our screens for over a decade. Not many broadcasters can boast having had live TV experience, 5 days a week for 12 years. She is currently the anchor of SABC 2’s flagship breakfast programme, Morning Live. Leanne is a qualified Speech and Drama teacher. having studied at London Trinity College. She also has an Honours degree in English.
Diplomas/certificates up to and including Honours degrees in the Faculty of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication Sciences will be awarded during the ceremony at 09:00. The 14:30 ceremony will have diplomas/certificates up to and including Honours degrees in the Faculty of the Humanities’ other qualifications except for Social Sciences and Communication Sciences.
 
Friday 17 April 2015:

Dr Maria Phalime will be the speaker at both ceremonies on Friday.

Phalime is a medical doctor and award-winning author. She practiced for a brief period as a general practitioner in South Africa and the United Kingdom, before leaving medical practice to pursue non-clinical interests. She has worked in trade and investment promotion, and has undertaken research and consulting in the areas of economic development and business facilitation.

Diplomas/certificates up to and including Honours degrees in the Faculty of Education (CE, NPDE and ACE excluded) will be awarded during the ceremony at 09:00. Diplomas/certificates up to and including Honours degrees in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law, and Theology will be awarded at the 14:30 ceremony.

Click here for the simple layout of the 2015 April Graduation programme:
http://www.ufs.ac.za/adhoc-pages/2014-graduation-ceremony/graduation-ceremony

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