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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 honours many during autumn diploma and graduation ceremony

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The University of the Free State (UFS) will award 594 diplomas and 2 524 degrees from 22-25 April 2008 during this year’s autumn diploma and graduation ceremony. Students from the Main Campus and Vista Campus will take part in the ceremony.

Altogether 50 doctorates, one honorary doctorate and one shield of honour will be awarded. The honorary doctorate will be awarded to Prof. Daneel Ferreira and the shield of honour to Mr Ludo Helsen. This is the first time since 2004 that a shield of honour will be awarded.

On 23 April 2008 Prof. Ferreira will receive the degree Doctor Scientiae (honoris causa) for his for exceptional service, not only to the Southern African scientific community but also globally. By awarding him an honorary doctorate, the UFS recognises his significant contributions to the field of organic chemistry over the years. Prof. Ferreira, a former professor in organic chemistry at the UFS, is professor and chair of Pharmacognosy in the School of Pharmacology at the University of Mississippi, United States of America, as well as research chair of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at that university.

Mr Helsen will be honoured on 25 April 2008 for his involvement in a diversity of projects on the relationship between language and culture and the consolidation of a dynamic democratic dispensation. Among these is the Multilingual Information Development Programme (the MIDP), which is aimed at institutionalising a multilingual dispensation within the Free State Provincial Government. Mr Helsen is a member of the provincial council of Antwerp, Belgium.

On 22 April 2008 from 08:30 altogether 228 diplomas will be awarded to students from all the faculties. At 14:30 on the same day 366 diplomas will be awarded in the teacher upgrading programmes of the School of Education in the Faculty of the Humanities, namely A.C.E, N.P.D.E. and C.E.

On 23 April 2008 from 08:30 altogether 298 degrees and nine doctorates will be awarded in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law and Theology. At 14:30 on the same day 656 degrees and 23 doctorates will be awarded in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

On 24 April 2008 from 08:30 altogether 453 degrees and 11 doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculty of the Humanities, excluding the School of Education. At 14:30 on the same day 375 degrees and six doctorates will be awarded to students from the School of Education.

On 25 April 2008 from 08:30 altogether 441 degrees will be awarded in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. This excludes students in B.Acc., B.Admin., B.Pub., related honours degrees and all masters and doctoral degrees.

It will be continued at 14:30 when 251 degrees and one doctoral degree will be awarded to students from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. This includes students in B.Acc., B.Admin., B.Pub., related honours degrees and all masters and doctors degrees.

Both the diploma and degree ceremonies will be held in the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
18 April 2008


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