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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 shock Tuks by staying calm
2016-02-19

Description: KL News 2016 02 19  Varsitycup Tags: KL News 2016 02 19  Varsitycup
Prop Ox Nche was one of the substitutes who had a huge impact against Tuks in Pretoria on 15 February 2016. Nche and other Shimlas substitutes helped their team wipe out a massive deficit. Photo: Johan Roux.

He has never been involved in a match like this in his rugby career.
This is what Neil Claassen had to say about his team’s performance on 15 February 2016, when the Shimlas came up with one of the biggest fight-backs in the history of the Varsity Cup in Pretoria. According to the Shimlas Captain, his bench had a great impact, and this helped in shocking Tuks with 47-46 towards the end. This came after Tuks had been leading 43-15 in the 44th minute.

Great fighting spirit
The Shimlas' fighting spirit, and a new Varsity Cup points system in which converted tries may count up to 11 points, enabled them to wipe out this deficit.
“It was a tough match, especially after being so far behind,” Neil said.
“Coach (Hendro Scholtz) told us during half-time (when we were 15-36 behind) that we should stay calm."
“We weren't completely out of the game. We knew that if we eliminated unnecessary mistakes, we could make it.”

Impact from bench
This is the second consecutive match - the other was against Ikeys in Cape Town - where the Shimlas’ substitutes swayed the match. “The bench made a big difference,” Neil said. “We also scored an 11-point try, which helped a lot.”
The Shimlas’ fullback, Marco Mason, was named Player of the Match. He succeeded with a tricky conversion to gain victory for his team.

Injuries
The eighth man, Nardus Erasmus (knee) and flanker, Fiffy Rampeta (eye socket), sustained injuries, but should be able to play in the first home game against the Madibaz on 22 February 2016. The injured scrumhalf, Zee Mkhabela (concussion), could return for this match.
Shimlas are second on the log, with nine league points after two away matches. Maties has ten league points.

Young Guns get stuck
The University of the Free State (UFS') Young Guns got stuck 8-14 against Tuks in Pretoria on 15 February 2016.
Vishuis, the UFS's residence team, will start their onslaught in the residence league against Dagbreek in Stellenbosch on 22 February 2016.

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