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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

Deputy Governor of SA Reserve Bank inspires students
2016-08-19

Description: Deputy Governor of SA Reserve Bank  Tags: Deputy Governor of SA Reserve Bank

Dr Lyndon du Plessis, Head of Department of Public
Administration and Management, Francois Groepe,
Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank,
Prof Philippe Burger, Head of the
Department of Economics and B.Com Hons student,
Mosoeu Mabote.

Photo: Siobhan Canavan

Students from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences had the opportunity to learn from the best in the field when the Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Francois Groepe, presented a seminar on the changing roles of central banks.

According to Groepe, we are currently living in challenging times as central banks are called on to do more.

“Central banks have limits, and these limits are not always understood,” he said on 11 August 2016 in the Equitas Auditorium on the Bloemfontein Campus.

How central banks contribute to inflation

There are two main generally-expected roles from central banks: the obvious one of providing bank notes and coins, and the other, maintaining price stability.

According to Groepe, the aim of keeping prices stable is to ensure easier planning for the future, and to assist the poor.

“The poor are the ones more vulnerable to higher inflation because they hardly have enough to get by,” he said.

A negative impact on monetary policies could affect the economy negatively. This is as a result of higher inflation caused by the increase in food prices.

Furthermore, the 12% government debt renders a negative yield in the economy.

The stability of finances in South Africa


Financial stability is not an end in itself, but, like price stability, is generally regarded as an important precondition for sustainable economic growth, development, and employment creation.

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