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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

UFS Centenary celebrations come to an end
2005-02-03

OFFICIAL OPENING

The official opening of the UFS will take place on Friday 04 February 2005 at 09:00 in the Reitz Hall (Centenary Complex). Please note that this is a test and lecture free day. The Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Frederick Fourie will be the keynote speaker. Refreshments will be served at the Centenary Complex after the opening ceremony.

The historic Centenary photograph will be taken at 11:00 on the eastern side of the Red Square (CR Swart parking area). All staff members and students are invited to be part of this massive photograph.

Important

• There will be no parking allowed on the CR Swart parking area until 12:00 on Friday 04 February 2005, as a result of the photo session.

• All academic staff members are requested to wear academic dress on the day, seeing as staff members will depict the Centenary emblem on the photograph. Academic gowns may be collected from the Gown Store on Wednesday 02 - Thursday 03 February 2005 between 08:00 and 16:00. Gowns must be returned to the Gown Store after the photograph has been taken.

SERVICE OF DEVOTION

A special service of devotion will take place on Sunday 06 February 2005 at 18:00 for 18:30 in front of the Main Building on the Red Square. This is a special gathering of students, hosted by all the interdenominational groups on the UFS campus. The evening will be a celebration of praise, thanks and worship, followed by a message from Dr Wollie Grobler. The evening will conclude with song and fireworks.

Staff members and students are welcome to bring their friends and families to this special event.

Important

• Even though there will be chairs in front of the Main Building, staff members and students are requested to bring extra pillows and blankets to sit on.

• No persons or vehicles will be allowed on the eastern side of the Red Square or on the CR Swart parking area, due to the security requirements of the fireworks show.

• All members of the choir are invited to be part of the mass choir. Lyrics will be provided.

• All persons who attend this event are requested to bring a candle for the purpose of the mass choir.

• Special transportation arrangements will be made for all service workers to enable them to attend the service. If there is someone in your faculty, department or division who would like to make use of this service, please send an e-mail to Elize Rall (ralle.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za) no later than Tuesday 01 February 2005.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

• A reunion for all former SRC members of the UFS will take place on the campus, from 04 February to 06 February 2005. An interesting programme is being planned. For more information, please contact Nicolaas du Plessis on 084 955 0875.

• The annual Rag Procession will take place on Saturday 05 February 2005. For more information, contact the Rag Office at X 2718.

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