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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

School of Medicine expands to provide quality tuition
2015-04-20

 

The School of Medicine at the University of the Free State (UFS) has recently extended various training platforms to provide continuous quality tuition to students.

Not only does the school boast a world-class dissection hall but now has plans for additional training facilities at two more hospitals.

The new dissection hall was completed in January 2015 with some final finishing touches that will be done shortly. The hall is newly built as the previous dissection hall has been used for undergraduate anatomy training since 1972.

Dr Sanet van Zyl, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Basic Medical Science, says owing to a prospective growth in the number of medical students as well as changing methods in teaching and learning, the need for a new dissection hall became evident to ensure that students get an optimal learning experience during dissection tuition.

“The new spacious dissection hall is equipped with special lighting and modern equipment for the training programme for second-year medical students. The hall is further equipped with modern sound and computer equipment. A unique camera system will allow students to follow dissection demonstrations on ten screens in the hall. Dissection demonstrations can also be recorded, enabling lecturers to put together new materials for teaching and learning.”

In addition to anatomy teaching for under- and postgraduate medical students, the Department of Basic Medical Science also offers anatomy teaching to under-graduate students from the School of Nursing, the School of Allied Health Professions as well as students from the Natural and Agricultural Sciences (such as students studying Forensic Science). The old dissection hall will still be used for the anatomy training of these students.

“The dissection programme for medical students is of critical importance, not only to acquire anatomical knowledge, but also for the development of critical skills and professionalism of our students. As already mentioned, these modern facilities will enable us to be at the forefront of current development in this field. This will benefit both present and future generations of medical students.”

At the same time, Prof Alan St. Clair Gibson, Head of the School of Medicine, announced that lecturing facilities are being developed at the Kimberley Hospital Complex. There are also plans for study facilities at the UFS’s Qwaqwa Campus and Bongani Hospital in Welkom. The UFS’s planning is also well underway for lecturing and residential facilities for students in Trompsburg, where students will receive training at the Trompsburg Hospital.

“We are very privileged to have these facilities and they will help us to provide world class training for students in the School of Medicine,” Prof St. Clair Gibson says.

 

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