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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

Sesotho dictionary to be published
2008-04-15

 
Mr Motsamai Motsapi,  editor-in-chief.

A comprehensive bilingual Sesotho dictionary will be published in the 2008/2009 financial year, thanks to the efforts of the Sesiu sa Sesotho National Lexicography Unit hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS). ”Sesiu” is a Sesotho word meaning ”a reservoir for storing grains”.

According to the Editor-in-Chief of the Sesiu sa Sesotho National Lexicography Unit, Mr Motsamai Motsapi, the unit intends to continuously develop and modernize the Sesotho language so that its speakers are empowered to express themselves through Sesotho without any impediments, in all spheres of life.

The unit is one of the 11 nationally established Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) structures representing South Africa’s 11 official languages.

Their main objective is to preserve and record the various indigenous languages by compiling user-friendly, comprehensive monolingual dictionaries and other lexicographic products, and to develop and promote these languages in all spheres of life.

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Pallo Jordan, has lamented the fact that it is virtually impossible to find a bookstore in any of the country’s shopping malls that distributes literature in the indigenous African languages.

The minister said the capacity to both write and read in one’s home language gives real meaning to freedom of expression.

Therefore the publication of this Sesotho dictionary should be seen in the context of the development of the indigenous languages, as encapsulated in both the minister’s vision and that of the Sesiu sa Sesotho National Lexicography Unit.

The pending publication of this dictionary is the culmination of years of hard work invested in this project by the Sesiu sa Sesotho National Lexicography Unit.

“I believe that slowly but surely we have made some strides, as we have produced a Sesotho translation dictionary draft in 2006 covering letters A to Z. We have also built a considerable Sesotho corpus. But we still have a mammoth task ahead of us, because the work of compiling a dictionary does not end”, said Mr Motsapi.

“All Sesotho speakers should be involved, as the language belongs to the speech communities, and not to certain individuals”, he added.

He said given the reality that the UFS is situated in a predominantly Sesotho-speaking province and is part of its general community, it will always benefit the university to be part of the efforts of the South African nation to address the past by ensuring the development of the Sesotho language.

The unit is located in the African Languages Department of the Faculty of the Humanities at the UFS, and collaborates closely with the Language Research and Development Centre (LRDC) at the UFS to further the development of the Sesotho language. It is funded by PanSALB.

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  
15 April 2008
 

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