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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 gets more than R3 Million for HIV/Aids activities
2007-12-13

 

In the picture are some of the members of the project team. From the left are: Mr Pieter du Plessis (Finances), Ms Estelle Heideman (HIV/Aids Co-ordinator: Lengau Agri Development Centre) and Rev Jaftha.
 

UFS gets more than R3 Million for HIV/Aids activities

The Chief Directorate: Community Service at the University of the Free State (UFS) has received more than R3 million to intensify activities regarding HIV/AIDS at all UFS campuses for the next seventeen months.

Higher Education HIV/AIDS Programme (HEAIDS) contributed R3 127 207 and the UFS R615 116 towards this initiative. The money will be used to implement intervention strategies from 1 January 2008 to 31 May 2009.

“The mandate poses an extensive challenge and puts pressure on the institution, but at the same time creates some incredible opportunities for intervention,” said the Chief Director of Community Service and Project Co-ordinator, Rev. Kiepie Jaftha.

HEAIDS is a nationally co-ordinated initiative to develop and strengthen the capacity of South African higher education institutions to respond to the causes, challenges and consequences of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the sector. It is an initiative of the Department of Education and the implementing agency is Higher Education South Africa (HESA), an organisation representing vice-chancellors of tertiary institutions in South Africa.

The proposed areas and actions of intervention are categorised into three main components, namely:

- Prevention, treatment, care and support aimed at both students and staff on all UFS campuses.
Incorporation of HIV/AIDS issues into the teaching offerings of the UFS and the development of a formal policy in this regard.

- Implementation of an integrated management information system to empower stakeholders to make decisions and adapt actions by visualising facts, actions and progress on the overall HIV/AIDS programme.

The UFS met all the requirements of HEAIDS to qualify for this funding. A five-member team was formed to come up with a document entitled The Quest for an AIDS Competent Society that met the required standards.

“Each institution of higher learning had to identify and establish a project team, appoint a project leader, assign responsibilities to members of the team with different expertise, analyse the needs of the institution, and define and agree on projects in order to access the grant,” said Rev. Jaftha.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
13 December 2007

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