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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

Vishuis’s fourth Varsity Cup victory about more than rugby
2016-04-15

Description: Vishuis Tags: Vishuis

House Abraham Fischer, a residence from the University of the Free State, is the most successful team in the history of the Varsity Cup. Vishuis beat Patria (Pukke) in the 2016 final of the tournament.
Photo: SASPA
 

For Vishuis, it is about more than just rugby.

This is what Henco Posthumus, captain of House Abraham Fischer’s rugby team, had to say after his team was crowned the national Varsity Cup champions for an incredible fourth time. According to the flyhalf, the title of the leading residence team in the country is “special for the guys”.

Vishuis is the most successful residence team in the history of the tournament. Apart from their four titles, they have played in a total of five Varsity Cup finals.

On 11 April 2016, the residence from the University of the Free State (UFS) launched a great comeback in Stellenbosch to beat Patria (Pukke) by 37-29. This victory ensured that Vishuis was unbeaten in 2016.

Great fighting spirit


The Kovsies started off well against Patria, but were behind 16-29 shortly after break, and had to “delve deep”, according to Posthumus. “To be behind in this way is not what one would prefer. For some reason, we have been in similar situations before, and we know how to make a comeback,” he said.

“We looked one another in the eye and decided that we are not going to lose again in the final.” In last year’s final in Bloemfontein, when Posthumus played at fullback, Vishuis got stuck against Mopanie (Tuks) at the end of the match, and they wanted to prevent this from happening again.

Heymans a hero


According to the Vishuis captain, one of his team’s assistant coaches, Franco (Vaatjie) van der Merwe, spoke harshly to the players when they were behind. The victory was clinched in the dying moments, with the second try of scrumhalf, Ruben Heymans, when the score was 29 points each. Heymans was a star, and the well-deserved Man of the Match.

Posthumus said it is a great privilege to carry the title of Varsity Cup champions. His team has worked hard to reach the top.

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