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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

SRC Consultation desk
2015-04-20

In an era where woman are consistently escalating up the echelons of power, this universal phenomenon is also making waves on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State. As different citizens would recognise First lady Michelle Obama, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United Nations Ambassador Angelina Jolie, so it is also with Student Representative Council Secretary General, Dineo Motaung. She is among a handful of ladies within the student leadership who cherish her responsibilities diligently for the interests of human beings.

The SRC Consultation Desk is an official space created by the office of the Secretary General, aimed at being of service to students alongside the students’ academic pursuit. Inspired by Ubuntu, meaning ‘I am what I am because of who we are’ comes the task of cultivating and nurturing the essence of who we are, through constructive and honest dialogue between students and the university staff. It is by talking to one another that we will establish an environment that permeates our uniqueness and pollinates our consciousness with awareness that would cause us to act in unison in propagating the vision of the university.

Toward this end, the Secretary General has commissioned two SRC members to various stations every Monday and Wednesday, to interact with both students and staff. Please find the schedule reflected below. It is hoped that through this engagement, problems will not simply be identified, but that practical and feasible solutions will be offered.

“Through the SRC Consultation Desk I hope to see the manifestation and spirit of Ubuntu on campus by the time my term ends. With all that said, I am available for any concerns,” said Motaung.

Monday 20 April 2015, 12:00-13:00

SRC Accessibility and Student Support: Louzanne Coetzee

Station: Thakaneng Bridge

Wednesday 23 April 2015, 14:00-15:00

SRC Media, Marketing & Laison: Lethabo Maebana

Station: New Computer Labs (Entrance door)

Wednesday 29 April 2015, 14:00-15:00

SRC Student Development and Environmental Affairs: Victor Ngubeni

Station: Sasol Library (Opposite Deli)

Monday 4 May 2015, 14:00-15:00

SRC Secretary General Dineo Motaung

Station: Amphitheatre             

Wednesday 6 May 2015

SRC Student Media: Masingi Sam

Station: Sasol Library (close to Deli)

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