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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

Alexander Ramm Cello Recital with Pieter Jacobs (piano)
2016-04-15

Description: Ramm Tags: Ramm

Alexander Ramm

“Ramm plays with enormous musical authority. Unlike many young instrumentalists, he is not intimidated by the reflective or the elegiac; nor is he nervous about the length of pauses, or the creation of inter-phrase silence. He has a phenomenal technique and he demonstrated it to full effect in this captivating performance.” (Cape Times)

Alexander Ramm belongs to the new generation of cellists recognised for his appealing artistic creativity and unprecedented technical skills. Alexander started his musical education at the age of seven at the Glier music school (Kaliningrad) with Svetlana Ivanova. Her extremely serious attitude to music studies and pedagogical talent revealed the rare musical capabilities of this young cellist.

After moving to Moscow at the age of ten, he was accepted to the class of Maria Zhuravleva at the Chopin Moscow College of Music Performance. From 2007, he continued his professional education at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of the renowned musician and the People’s Artist of the USSR, Natalia Shakhovskaya, an outstanding performer and pedagogue who taught most prominent Russian cellists. Since 2012, he has become a postgraduate student at the Hanns-Eisler Hochschule fur Musik under the guidance of the famous cellist, Frans Helmerson.

From the age of nine, when he made his debut as a soloist with the Kaliningrad Chamber Orchestra, Alexander brilliantly performs with solo programmes and as a soloist with leading orchestras in Russia and worldwide.

He is prizewinner at several international competitions:
1st prize: 4th Moscow Competition for young cellists (2003)
1st prize: 1st Cambridge International Boston Competition (Massachusetts, 2005)
Grand-Prix: Moscow Festival of Romantic Music (Moscow, 2006)
4th prize: 5th UNISA International String Competition (South Africa, 2010)
1st prize: 3rd Beijing International Music Competition (Beijing 2010)
1st prize: 1st All-Russia Music Competition (Russia, 2010)
Prizewinner: Janigro Cello Competition (Croatia, 2012)
Prizewinners: Swedish Duo Competition with duo partner Anna Odintsova (2012)
3rd prize: Paulo Cello Competition (2013) – becoming the first Russian prizewinner in the history of this prestigious contest
2nd prize: XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015)

Alexander participated in masterclass festivals at Courchevel Academy and Holland Music Sessions, where he took lessons from the famous musicians such as F. Muller, R. Latzko, M. Kliegel and U. Wiesel. In 2011, he took part in the well-known Verbier festival, where he studied with H. Hoffmann, F. Helmerson, M. Suzuki, L. Power and F. Radosh. At the end of the festival, he was awarded the Neva Foundation top-level prize for gifted students.

Alexander cooperates with such outstanding conductors as V. Gergiev, V. Spivakov, A. Levin, K. Orbelyan, V. Polyansky, S. Kochanovsky, M. Fedotov, A. Slutsky, A. Sladkovsky.

He will be accompanied by Pieter Jacobs, a graduate of the University of Pretoria, who then furthered his studies at Yale in the United States, where he pursued his performing career with considerable success as a soloist and chamber musician in Boston, Cambridge and New Haven before returning to South Africa to perform and teach at the University of Pretoria. Pieter is regarded as one of SA’s foremost pianists and chamber musicians.

Programme:

Grieg: Cello Sonata, Op. 36 in A minor (1883)
Barber: Cello Sonata, Op. 6 in C minor (1932)
Prokofiev: Cello Sonata, Op. 119 (1949)
Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango for cello and piano

Date: 22 April 2016
Time: 19:30
Venue: Odeion
Costs: R130 (adults), R90 (pensioners), R70 (UFS staff members), R50 (students and learners), R50 (group booking of 10+). Tickets available at Computicket.

More information: Ninette Pretorius +27(0)51 401 2504.

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