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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

Incidents on the Bloemfontein Campus
2016-08-25

Statement by the Institutional Forum of the University of the Free State (UFS) - Released by Dr Willy Nel (Chairperson) on behalf of the Institutional Forum of the UFS

 

Two incidents happened on campus the past week, which were brought to the attention of the university management:

1. The university management received a complaint on 16 August 2016 that a student had sprayed liquid in the face of a security guard at one of the university gates. The reason appears to be that three students were sent back to their residence to collect their student cards in order to exit the campus – as required – and this might have caused the reaction. In video footage, it is clear that a student on the passenger side was responsible for the spraying incident. Statements have been taken from the three students in the car as well as from the affected security guard. The student claims that the liquid was water from his gym bottle. Regardless, charge sheets were prepared and delivered, and the disciplinary hearing has been scheduled on an urgent basis for 1 September 2016.

2. An incident happened on the Bloemfontein Campus on 23 August 2016, with a test being distributed in a class where the answer to one of the questions was included in the Afrikaans version, while it was excluded in the English version. The matter was investigated and it was decided that the written test will be set aside and a new test, covering the same scope, will be compiled for all students; the new test will be subject to external moderation; and external moderation of tests in the particular department will take place until the end of the year. The lecturer concerned claims that this was a genuine mistake and not intentional, in that guidelines for that one question were removed after a decision to add further examination questions, which made the guidelines obsolete; in the process of revising the papers, the lecturer made a mistake and did not remove the guidelines for both the English and Afrikaans versions. Nonetheless, the university management has decided on a disciplinary process involving the lecturer concerned, given the seriousness of the matter.


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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