Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
20 October 2020 | Story Tom Ferreira and Jóhann Thormählen | Photo Blue Bulls Company
Pote Human.

The former Free State forward and coach, Pote Human, is coming back ‘home’. He has been appointed as the new FNB Shimlas head coach for the 2021 Varsity Cup competition and will be in charge of the rugby team for the second time.
According to Human, he has always had a ‘soft spot’ for the Free State, where he coached at club, university, and provincial level.

The experienced coach, who coached the Bulls Super Rugby team in 2019 and 2020, will already be at the University of the Free State (UFS) on 2 November 2020 to start preparing the FNB Shimlas for the Varsity Cup. He takes over from the former Springbok flank, Hendro Scholtz, who is no longer available as head coach due to work pressure. Scholtz will continue to be a FNB Shimlas assistant coach.

Free State ties 

Human, who has a long association with Free State rugby, has been involved as a coach with teams such as the Bulls, Griquas, Tuks, and the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan.

He says he is very excited about the new challenge. “Bloemfontein has wonderful people and the FNB Shimlas have a great management team. I have known Jaco (Swanepoel), who coached my son Gerhard at Grey College, since my years as Shimla coach.”

The former loose forward coached the Shimlas from 2000 to 2004. “I am particularly proud that the Shimlas won the FNB Super Bowl tournament (similar to the Varsity Cup), the Bloemfontein club championship trophy (Stadsbeker), and the National Club Championships in 2004.

“Several of the young men who played for Shimlas at the time, including Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Gurthrö Steenkamp, CJ van der Linde, Ruan Pienaar, and Wian du Preez, later became Springboks.”

Human was replaced by the former Bok coach Jake White as the Bulls head coach in May. The Bulls, under Human’s leadership, finished as the leading South African team on the log in Super Rugby in 2019, and advanced to the quarterfinals.

A seasoned coach

He will now give back where it all started. Human played two matches for the Free State senior team in 1979 as an U19 player, and again played for the province from 1989 to 1993 – a total of 82 matches, 64 of them as captain. He also played 116 games for Eastern Province.

His coaching career began in 1994 as forwards coach for the Free State under the late Nelie Smith.
The Free Staters reached the Currie Cup final that year, where they lost to the then Transvaal in Bloemfontein. Human then coached the Police Rugby Club in Bloemfontein before joining the Shimlas in 2000.

“Pote is a seasoned coach who will bring something new to the team,” says Swanepoel, Head of Rugby Coaching and High-Performance Sports at the UFS. “As a former Shimla coach, he also knows the culture of the team. The UFS FNB Young Guns was the leading team in the Varsity Cup for U20 teams this year, so there is ample talent for him to work with.”

An investment in the future 

Jerry Segwaba, President of the Free State Rugby Union, says Human’s appointment is an investment in the future. “The FNB Shimlas have always been an important link in the Free State rugby chain, which starts at schools and extends to university and club rugby to professional rugby.”

“Pote and his coaching team will play an important role in developing quality players for the Cheetahs’ senior teams. We welcome him back home and wish him all the best.”

Ryno Opperman, chairman of the board of the Free State Cheetahs, also has a high regard for him. Opperman played under Human as Free State captain.

“He is the right man at the right time for the job,” he says. “His appointment is a vote of confidence in the future of Free State rugby. The Free State Cheetahs are the Currie Cup champions and must keep on developing talent for the future.”
“It is encouraging to see players and coaches such as Pote, Ruan Pienaar, and Frans Steyn returning to their roots in the Free State.”

News Archive

UFS responds to concerns around high costs of higher education
2015-10-15

 

Dear Students

UFS responds to concerns around high costs of higher education

There is an understandable and shared concern among students in the country around the high costs of higher education. As you know, this also is a matter of deep concern on our campuses, which the University of the Free State (UFS) has made a priority in discussions with student leaders - and through new strategies to relieve the burden of costs on poor students and their families. In fact, in the past two weeks, the UFS leadership has again engaged students on the matter of fees in the future.

This is what we have done so far. We have maintained our position as one of the universities with the lowest tuition fees in the country. As you would have seen from recent newspaper reports on the cost of a degree at various institutions over the past five years, the UFS has had consistently low fees. This is not an accident; both the University Council and the executive leadership of the UFS is of one mind that we must offer a high quality education at minimum cost to all our students, despite the rising costs of operating a large multi-campus university with 30 000 students. Our commitment to you is to continue to keep those costs to students as low as possible, without compromising on the quality of education.

In addition, we took a decision earlier this year to become the first university to drop application fees for first-year students. We are proud of that achievement, since so many students fall at this first hurdle as they contemplate post-school education and training. We also waived registration fees for postgraduate students and now Research Master’s and PhD students can study tuition free under certain conditions. We raised more than R60 million from the private sector to enable talented students, who do not receive NSFAS funding, to complete their degree studies at the UFS. We set aside some of the university’s own funds to enable even more students to access finance for their studies. And we now have a special office set aside to counsel and assist students to apply for more than one scholarship to support their studies. The university does not follow a policy of maximizing exclusions. It has endeavoured and succeeded to turn around the majority of its potential deregistration cases. During 2015 we had 2 700 students at the risk of being de-registered, but our serious efforts resulted in only over 200 instances of exclusion we could not mitigate. As is the practice for the past few years, these students’ debt for 2015 has been reversed.

But, we do not only look for funds from outside to support our students. Last year we set up a Staff Fund to which ordinary members of the academic and support staff can contribute from their own, and sometimes very modest, salaries to enable Kovsie students to finish their degrees. We have volunteers who work on the No Student Hungry (NSH) Bursary Programme to raise funds for students who cannot afford a regular meal. We have an open line to rural and township schools to nominate poor students with good results for support by the Rector’s Fund, and some of those students are now in their final year of studies. And many of our staff support individual students in their homes and with their families, without being asked to do so. This is what we call the Human Project and it remains central to the way in which we deal with students.

We will of course continue to make representation to government, the private sector, and individuals to increase funding, especially for first-generation students, and for families where more than one student is at university. We will continue to take to the road to raise funds from companies and foundations to finance our students. We will expand on-campus opportunities for limited working hours for students who wish to earn some money to support their studies. As we have said often before, no student who passes all their courses or modules will be turned away simply because they do not have the funds to study.

The UFS discusses and agrees to fee increases with our students well in advance of the next academic year. None of these decisions are taken without the agreement of the student leadership and thus far these engagements, while tough, have always been done in good faith and with the students’ interests at heart.

It is important for you to know that, with the declining government subsidy, in real terms, and the expanding needs of our students, we will not be able to keep the university running without fees - even though this source of revenue comes mainly through scholarships and bursaries. We need to compensate staff, purchase new library books and renew journal subscriptions (which is very difficult given the low value of the Rand), upgrade computers and software, pay rates and taxes, purchase laboratory equipment, pay the water and electricity bills, expand internet services, upgrade campus security, and hire more academics to keep class sizes reasonably small. It is important for you to know that the university has managed to avoid increasing student fees as a result of much higher municipal rates. Our lecturers are not the highest paid in the country and financially we run a tight ship. We consistently achieve unqualified audits and we are known to be one of the universities that manage its NSFAS contributions with great efficiency. We do this because of our commitment to ensure that our students are able to enjoy a high quality of education on a stable campus where there is a deep respect for all campus citizens.

Despite all these efforts, the most important message we wish to communicate, is that the door remains open for continued discussion with student leaders as we continue to find ways of keeping university education open and accessible to all qualifying students. At the same time, the UFS leadership is involved in discussions with government about how to best manage the escalating cost of higher education for our dents.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this time and be assured, once again, of our commitment to students as a matter of priority to the university leadership.

Best regards

Prof Jonathan Jansen
Vice-Chancellor and Rector

University of the Free State
19 October 2015

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept