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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 graduates encouraged to continue their legacy
2016-04-25

Description: Autumn graduation 2016 Tags: Autumn graduation 2016

A total of 3681 qualifications, from seven different faculties, were conferred between 12 to 15 April 2016 at the University of the Free State Autumn Graduations on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Evert Kleynhans

Photo Gallery
Graduation Video Clip 

“You cannot let your legacy stop here. Use your qualifications to change the life of others.”

This was the call from Dr Muavia Gallie, a guest speaker at one of the Autumn Graduations on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). He is a School-Turnaround strategist and educational activist.

He was the speaker on 12 April 2016 at the Faculty of Education graduation ceremony in the Callie Human Centre. According to Dr Gallie and other speakers at the graduations, graduates need to use their qualifications for the good of South Africa.

A diverse group of graduates

A total of 3681 qualifications were conferred in seven faculties between 12 and 15 April 2016, the week of ceremonies comprising eight sessions. It was four days of festivities with friends and families gathering to celebrate with graduates.

The large number of graduates consisted of a diverse group. According to Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the UFS, the group passing with distinctions was also much more diverse than in past years, especially in the number of female students.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, said graduation ceremonies remain the most special days on the UFS calendar.

A total of 22 students from the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support also graduated during the week.

Work for next generation

Sello Hatang, the speaker on 12 April 2016 at the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law, and Theology ceremony, echoed Dr Gallie’s sentiments; “As you leave this university, your work begins for the next generation; to serve the people you care about in any way possible,” said Hatang, the Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Other speakers included Dawie Roodt, the most referenced economist in the media in 2015, at the ceremony of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences on 14 April 2016. The speaker on 15 April 2016 at the ceremony of the Faculty of Humanities was Nikiwe Bikitsha, one of South Africa’s leading journalists and broadcasters.

Achievers

In the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Madri Brink (Baccalaureus Scientiae Agriculture) received a Senate Medal for the best four-year Baccalaureus degree, while Kyla Hayter (Baccalaureus Scientiae Honores) won the Senate Medal for the best Honours student at the UFS. Willem Carel Brink from the Faculty of Humanities received a Senate Medal for the best three-year Baccalaureus Degree.

Deans’ medals awarded by the UFS.

Also see videos of the respective guest speakers:
Dr Muavia Gallie
Sello Hatang
Dawie Roodt
Nikiwe Bikitsha

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