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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

White Horse to bring enchantment to Free State Arts Festival
2015-07-09

White Horse Project: Concept, Jess Oliveiri & Parachutes for Ladies; Project Manager, Mandi Bezuidenhout; Video, Louis Kruger; Costume, Lesiba Mabitsela; Performers, Gali Malebo, Chris Kleynhans, Busisiwe Matutu, Johandi du Plessis, Elrie du Toit.

A University of the Free State (UFS) and Free State Arts Festival initiative, the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD/PIKO) has worked together with Australian artist, Jess Olivieri (Parachutes for Ladies), to bring visitors and spectators the fantastical and mythical White Horse. The UFS has served as home for the festival for a number of years, and is pleased to take part in bringing this communal project to the arts community that will gather at the annual festival.

The White Horse project begins Sunday 12 July 2015 at 15:00 at the Tweetoringkerk in Bloemfontein, launching the arts festival, while capturing the interest of many members of the Bloemfontein community as well as that of the UFS. The project itself will consist of about 200 members of the local community coming together for workshops in which they will be “reimagining” the White Horse. Olivieri will lead the workshops, which she also developed, assisted by Gali Malebo.

“The White Horse project sits within the contested nature of the White Horse - it is in this in-between space that new mythologies and narratives will be told. The project addresses, celebrates, reconfigures, and allows space for multiple narratives.  Given the debate on statues and symbols, the White Horse offers an opportunity to re-purpose and re-imagine symbols in Bloemfontein,” said Olivieri.

Photograph by David Goldblatt, Sculpted by Kagiso Pat Mautloa, a memorial to those who died while in the detention of the Security Police in this building formerly known as John Vorster Square, now Johannesburg Central Police Station. 27 February 2012, Silver gelatin print on fibre based paper, 98 x 120cm

The White Horse project is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, SituateART in Festivals, Salamanca Arts Centre, Arts NSW, NAVA, Creative Partnerships Australia and the University of Sydney.

Spectators can also look forward to the work of major artists including David Goldblatt’s photographic exhibition titled Structures of Dominion and Democracy at 20:00 on Monday 13 July 2015 at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery. In this exhibition, he has photographed everyday sites that contain historical narratives.

Work from other artists at the Arts Festival include Blowing in the Wind (19:00 on Monday 13 July 2015 in the Centenary Gallery), curated by Carol Brown, which is an exhibition that delves into issues of environmental and human exploitation. Angela de Jesus, curator of the UFS Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, will be curating, [my] PLEK | PLACE (18:30 on Monday 13 July 2015 in the Scaena foyer), in which the artists explore location, space, site, and/or ownership.

The Free State Arts festival begins on 13 July 2015.

 

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