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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 Communication and Brand Management Department once again honoured for ground-breaking communication work
2016-04-29

Description: Martie en Leonie award Tags: Martie en Leonie award

The UFS was announced as winner in the internal communication category of the African Excellence Award after entering the B Safe Take Action campaign. The university also received a Gold Award at the 2016 PRISM Awards. Here are Martie Nortjé, Assistant Director: Communication and Brand Management, and Leonie Bolleurs, Assistant Director: Internal Communication, from the University of the Free State.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse

Within a week, the Department of Communication and Brand Management at the University of the Free State brought home two gold awards. In April this year, the department was announced as winner in the Internal Communication Category of the African Excellence Awards for the B Safe Take Action campaign. They also received Gold at the 2016 PRISM Awards for the KovsieGear entry.
 
PRISM Award for the UFS KovsieGear shop
 
Martie Nortjé, Assistant Director: Branding and Merchandise, attended the PRISM Award function in Johannesburg where she received the Gold award for the UFS KovsieGear shop for the best entry in the corporate communication category. This is the second consecutive year that the department received Gold at the PRISM Awards. Last year, the department received Gold for the B Safe Take Action campaign.
 
The idea for a university-owned shop was initiated in 2013. Launched in January 2014, KovsieGear is used to strengthen the brand and creating a sense of ownership among all stakeholders. The KovsieGear team is grateful for the continuous support of staff and students, as well as alumni.
 
The PRISM awards of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) are Africa’s most sought-after award in the public relations industry, and are presented to public relations and communication professionals who have incorporated strategy, creativity, and professionalism successfully into public relations and communication programmes and strategies, showcasing a successful public relations campaign.
 
African Excellence Award for B Safe Take Action Campaign
 
The B Safe Take Action campaign also received an award recently at a gala event hosted by the African Excellence Awards in Cape Town. Leonie Bolleurs, Project Manager of the B Safe Take Action campaign, received the award on behalf of the university.
 
It is of cardinal importance for the university that its students, staff, and assets are safe. Once again, this award demonstrates that the university is serious about the safety of its staff and students. This is especially so, since it is the objective of the campaign to develop a culture of safety awareness in students and staff alike.
 
The hosts of the African Excellence Awards are The Communication Director, the magazine for Corporate Communications and Public Relations (PR) in Europe, which enjoys worldwide distribution. According to Rudolf Hetzel, Chairman of the jury and publisher of The Communication Director, the African Excellence Awards are an opportunity for all those working in the field of PR and communications throughout Africa to come together, and honour ground-breaking communication campaigns and projects.
 
Quality work
 
“I am extremely proud of the Communication and Brand Management team for performing excellently once again in national and continental awards programmes. The awards are a good benchmark for the quality and standard of the work we produce,” said Lacea Loader, Director of the Department of Communication and Brand Management.  
 
In the past two years, the department also received other awards for their work. This include:
-    UFS #FaceOfFacebook campaign received a Gold Quill Excellence Award from the International Association for Business Communicators (IABC), both internationally and in the Africa region.
-    B Safe Take Action campaign received a Gold Quill Merit Award from the IABC, both internationally and in the Africa region.
-    UFS #FaceOfFacebook campaign received a Bronze Stevie Award from the International Business Awards (IBA).
-    B Safe Take Action campaign received a Bronze Stevie Award from the IBA.
-    #UFStoday Facebook campaign received a Merit Award from Marketing Advancement Communication in Education (MACE).
-    The NSFAS awareness campaign received a Merit Award from MACE.
 

 

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