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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

Famous mineralogists visit UFS Geology
2017-04-25

Description: Famous mineralogists visits UFS Geology Tags: Famous mineralogists visits UFS Geology

From the left: Prof Marian Tredoux, Associate
Professor at the UFS Department of Geology;
Prof Giorgio Garuti; from the University of Leoben,
Dr Federica Zaccarini, also from the
University of Leoben and Dr Freddie Roelofse,
Head of the Department of Geology at the UFS.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin


Years of academic friendship and collaboration is what makes Prof Giorgio Garuti and Dr Federica Zaccarini return to the University of the Free State (UFS) every so often.

The world-renowned academic duo from the University of Leoben in Austria were guest lecturers at the UFS Department of Geology. “We are here because we have known Professor Marian Tredoux and the Geology Department, for a long time. We are really happy to be here, and to be given the opportunity to present talks,” said Dr Zaccarini. The two are experts in platinum-group element mineralogy and each has given their surname to minerals namely, the Garutiite and Zaccariniite minerals.

Visit great advantage for research

They are acclaimed experts on very small minerals (smaller than a hundredth of a millimetre) with emphasis on platinum group elements in chrome-rich rocks. “Their visit is a great advantage for us. We also conduct research on these minerals and can learn from them,” said Prof Marian Tredoux, affiliated researcher at the Department of Geology.

Dr Zaccarini gave a lecture on Chromitites, and associated platinum-group elements, in ophiolites on Wednesday 5 April 2017 and Dr Garuti presented a lecture on Uralian-Alaskan complexes: a puzzling source of platinum, on Thursday 6 April 2017. During the talks they examined the association of the platinum-group minerals with chromite, rather than sulphide, and how this association can lead to the formation of unusual platinum-group element ores.

Collaboration on various academic papers

They and Prof Tredoux have collaborated on various research articles over the past four years, which have been published in various important international scientific journals. “These journals play an important role in calculating the H-scale which measures how important a researcher’s work is on an international scale,” said Prof Tredoux.

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