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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

UFS presents sport concussion programme for schools
2008-11-14

The Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of the Free State (UFS) will present a sports concussion programme for schools in the Free State.

“The Pharos Schools Concussion Programme makes the latest methods and technology in concussion management available to learners who play contact sport,” says Dr Louis Holtzhausen, Programme Director of Sports Medicine at the UFS.

The great risk of concussion is that there is an uncertainty about when a player can return to a sport with safety and with the minimum complications in the brain. This programme fills that gap to a large extent.

“By using this programme, no player who suffers concussion will return to play before it is medically safe to do so. The programme also educates players, parents, coaches and the medical fraternity on how to manage sports concussion,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

The programme has been designed for hockey, soccer, cricket, rugby and other contact and collision sports.

SA Rugby has used the programme for professional players for the last five years and advocates that all school rugby players should participate in the programme.

Several sports teams from schools in and around Bloemfontein as well as the University’s Shimla and Irawa rugby teams have already been tested. This will provide invaluable information in the management of possible head injuries.

“We can now give definite guidelines to players and coaches regarding the safe return of players to teams after such an injury. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of the management of concussion and provides peace of mind to coaches, parents and players regarding serious injuries,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

By enrolling in the concussion programme, learners and their parents are ensured of among others:

A baseline computer brain-function test before the start of the season.
Information on how to recognise and treat concussion, including a fieldside information card for the player’s team.
A free consultation and neurological examination by a sports physician after any suspected concussion.
As many brain-function tests and sports-physician consultations as necessary after any concussion, until complete recovery.
Referral to a network of specialists if necessary.

The Pharos Programme uses a cognitive function evaluation called Cogsport. This is a neurophysiological test that measures brain function before the season starts. In this way, a baseline standard is established and, should concussion occur during the season, the extent of it can be measured according to the baseline and rehabilitation.

“Once we have the baseline values, the concussed player’s return to those levels must be monitored. He/she can return to light exercise in the meantime and semi- and full-contact can be introduced at appropriate times,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

The cost of enrolment is R200 per learner, regardless of the number of concussions suffered or sports physician consultations received. “By enrolling in this programme, parents will ensure that their child has the best chance of avoiding the potentially serious consequences of concussion, including learning disabilities, recurrent concussions, epileptic fits and even death,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

More information on the programme can be obtained from Ms Arina Otto at 051 401 2530.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
14 November 2008
 

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