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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

Shimlas: Unbeaten Varsity Cup Champions!
2015-04-14

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    Photo: Johan Roux
    Spotlight Photo: Spektor Photography
    Photo gallery

The UFS Shimlas rugby team made history on Monday 13 April 2015 when they won their first ever Varsity Cup tournament, beating North-West University (NWU) Pukke 63-33 in the final.

Not only did Shimlas make history by winning their first-ever tournament title since the inaugural tournament in 2008, but they did not lose a single game in the 2015 Varsity Cup, thus claiming the cup in front of their home crowd at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein.

Shimlas outscored their traditional intervarsity rivals with nine tries to four. Pukke put the first points on the scoreboard with a penalty kick. The home side started off slowly in the first half. However, Shimlas’ lock, Johan van der Hoogt, did score the first try of the match followed by flyhalf and player that rocks, Niel Marais’s successful conversion kick. Yet, the men from the North-West retaliated full force for the greater part of the first half and, two tries later, had a 18-8 lead over the UFS team. 

Shortly after the first strategy break, Shimlas No.8, Niell Jordaan, crossed the try line following a driving maul, but the visitors received another penalty and succeeded with the kick at goal. The last ten minutes before half time saw Shimlas taking advantage, with the Pukke skipper being sent to the sin bin. Wing Maphutha Dolo hit a gap in NWU’s defense, and scored the try that put Shimlas in the lead again. Not long after, Marais sparked in making a play, offloading to flank Daniel Maartens to score a final try before half time, securing a 26-20 lead.

The second half had not been in play too long when the home side crossed the try line again, scoring their fifth try. Marais was again central in creating the play that saw Shimlas outside centre, Nico Lee, putting the points on the board.

NWU fought back again, scoring a pushover try from a scrum. But Shimlas would not give up the lead again, and a well-timed pass from Marais had Lee crossing the line for his second try.

More Shimlas tries piled up from Marais, Dolo, and Maartens, leaving the Potchefstroom side behind 63-25, giving them little opportunity to score again. One desperate consolation try by Pukke in the final seconds did manage to close the gap on the scoreboard, but it was not nearly enough to snatch the title from the hungry and undefeated Shimlas.

FNB Player that Rocks: Niel Marais
Shimlas point scorers:
Tries: Johan van der Hoogt, Niell Jordaan, Maphutha Dolo (2), Daniel Maartens (2), Nico Lee (2), Niel Marais
Conversions: Niel Marais (6)

 

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