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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

Call for campus review and participation into renaming and renewal of statues, signs, and symbols on UFS campuses
2016-08-25

 

The leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) is issuing a Call for the renaming and renewal of statues, signs, and symbols on the three campuses to staff, students, and alumni.

In line with the founding statement and guidelines of the Naming Committee of Council, The Call will seek to retain the best representations of the history and identity of the UFS over more than a century, while committing to the transformation imperatives of our new democracy so that the totality of statues, signs, and symbols give credence to both the past and the future, all in line with the values of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

Submissions should be made to the
SSSC between 21 July 2016 and 31 August 2016.
Proposals can be delivered to the
office of the Director: Communication and
Brand Management at Room 49,
Main Building, Bloemfontein Campus, or
via email to sssc@ufs.ac.za.

The ‘Guiding Principles’ of the Naming Committee, approved by Council on 8 March 2013, are transformation, reconciliation, excellence, distinctiveness, leadership, comprehensiveness, balance and sensitivity. The Policy of the UFS on Naming and Renaming is available here: http://bit.ly/2aeTLUz; and the Remit of the Naming Committee of the UFS is available here: http://bit.ly/29NXESC.

The Call will give special attention to creative submissions from staff, students, and alumni, such as signs and symbols that reflect our entangled past and place rival memories in critical conversation. Whatever is proposed, our commitment to the Academic Project and the Human Project remain foundations on which inspirational proposals could be based. In the end, a campus that is richly diverse, inclusive, and just in its symbolic infrastructure, would give visible meaning to the university’s commitment to social justice and reconciliation.

All submissions should be made to the Statues, Signs, and Symbols Committee (SSSC) between 21 July 2016 and 31 August 2016. Proposals could be delivered in hard copy to the office of the Director: Communication and Brand Management at Room 49, Main Building, Bloemfontein Campus or via email to sssc@ufs.ac.za.

Proposals will be reviewed by the SSSC, which is a subcommittee of the Naming Committee.

Final proposals will be submitted to Council for consideration at its final meeting of the 2016 academic year. In other words, new statues, symbols and signs – those approved by Council – will be implemented from January 2017.

Submissions could include, but are not limited to, the following: the renaming of streets and buildings; the proposal of new statues and other symbols on campus; the renewal of artwork collections; the reconfiguration of existing statues and symbols; the introduction of memorial gardens; the instatement of new galleries, sculptures, and literary collections; the establishment of prominent academic chairs or annual academic lectures in the name of illustrious figures, etc. Particular attention should be given to new buildings in the process of being built, such as residences.

Finally, it is important that the views and recommendations of all staff, students, and alumni be considered in submissions and that every campus citizen, past and present, has a sense of being able to participate fully and freely in the process.

Released by: Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Tel: +27 51 401 3422/2707 or +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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