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07 February 2024 | Story ANTHONY MTHEMBU | Photo Kaleidoscope
Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty, welcoming first-year students on the inaugural day of orientation.
Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, welcoming first-year students on the inaugural day of orientation.

The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently hosted a comprehensive three-day orientation for its incoming first-year students. Scheduled from 1 to 3 February 2024, the event commenced at the Kopanong Auditorium on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus and garnered enthusiastic participation from nearly 500 students and their parents, alongside representatives from Ecomed Medical and Mindray.

The focus of the orientation programme

Transitioning from school to university can be daunting, fraught with uncertainties and anxieties. Prof Nicholas Pearce, Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at the UFS, underscored the significance of easing this transition. “The purpose of the orientation,” he explained “was to provide our new students with a supportive and enjoyable introduction to university life. Our faculty prioritises holistic development alongside academic excellence.” The orientation, therefore, encompassed both academic and personal growth opportunities. 

Moreover, the programme aimed to acquaint students with a plethora of resources available to them for a successful academic journey. Various speakers addressed topics ranging from general support services to student safety on and off campus.  Prof Corlia Janse van Vuuren, Vice-Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Health Sciences, emphasised the importance of recognising and utilising all available support systems, including IT support, psychosocial assistance, financial guidance, and campus security. 

A partnership committed to quality education

The inaugural day of the orientation also featured a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony involving representatives from UFS, Ecomed Medical and Mindray. The ceremony marked the donation of a state-of-the-art ventilator by Ecomed Medical and Mindray, designated for student training purposes. Prof Janse van Vuuren hailed this donation as a testament to the commitment of all parties involved in delivering high-quality education and keeping students abreast of the latest industry advancements. ’’Such partnerships significantly enrich the teaching and learning experience of our students,” she noted. 

Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences , also addressed the first-year cohort, urging them to remain focused and make the most of their academic opportunities. 

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