Latest Information: Semester 1
 #UFSLearnOn: Midway Mark

The academic year has reached the midway mark! The words of an African proverb; "for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today" we take this time to reflect on the efforts that have gone into seeing us to this point. Congratulations UFS community, we made it! Check out this last edition of #UFSLearnOn for the 1st semester, get the break you need but also let us start planning for 1 September when we spring into 2nd semester!

Ace your online assessment

As we have it, learning continues but what is learning without assessment? The UFS’ remote learning and teaching approach remains committed to ensuring you get the  out of your learning. Between academics and students, the questions remain:

-    Academics: Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?"
-    Students: "Are students learning what they are supposed to be learning?"

To help you ace your assessments during this time, download this latest edition of #UFSLearnOn: Ace your assessments to get all the information, skills and resources. We still welcome your reflections on your thoughts and needs, the quick survey is still available.

Strive for success

You set your goals, you continue to review and revise your goals so why give up now? #UFSLearnOn: Strive for Success holds the essentials to help you keep moving academically. Download the edition now!

We value your inputs and in our efforts to remain responsive to your academic needs during this time, we invite you to complete this short reflective survey on the #UFSLearnOn campaign.

Letter to students from Prof Francis Petersen - 9 May 2020

UPDATE: 7 May 2020

It’s that time again. Are you still trying to figure out where to begin with your studies? Struggling to get the essentials in place?

The UFS community continues to stand united in ensuring no student is left behind as we make strides towards completing the 2020 academic year.

This edition of #UFSLearnOn is aimed at checking-in with you and providing you with the essentials to help you settle and to ensure that you keep moving.

All UFS student support services remain available to you, so do make use of them. Download the latest edition now!

The UFS continues to work towards making your remote learning experience as conducive and productive as possible. One of the main efforts of the UFS during this time is making learning material and resources available. In these efforts, the UFS has implemented the provision of anytime structured and managed data to all undergraduate and postgraduate students for four months as from 20 April 2020.

This structured data is provided through the Global Protect App ( to enable you to access academic websites. This data does not reflect the same way as you load/check your data/airtime balance, it is free to access via the Through the Global Protect App you can ONLY access academic sites. Should you continue to have challenges with the App, email .

In the meantime, Universities South Africa (USAf) is negotiating with national mobile providers (i.e. Vodacom, Telkom, MTN and Cell C) regarding the provision of an additional 10 GB data deal for all students. This is, however, a separate arrangement, and the UFS will communicate the outcome thereof should it be successful.

In a letter from Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), sent to students on 17 April 2020, information was shared regarding data bundles for students and zero-rated websites.

We wish to confirm that the UFS has already implemented the provision of 10 GB anytime structured and managed data to all undergraduate and postgraduate students for four months as from 20 April 2020 in order to provide students with free data access for academic purposes. This has been done centrally and students do not need to apply to obtain access to the 10 GB free data offering. This implies that ONLY academic content and access to the academic platforms (as listed below) is possible through this allocation.

In the meantime, Universities South Africa (USAf) is negotiating with national mobile providers regarding the provision of an additional 10 GB data for all students. This is, however, a separate arrangement, and the UFS will communicate the outcome thereof should it be successful.

The following academic websites have been zero-rated by the UFS, which means that they are exempted from data fees by the four major mobile providers (i.e. Vodacom, Cell C, MTN, and Telkom Mobile) through the platform:

Peoplesoft Student
UFS Website
UFS Covid-19 info site
Password Self-Service
E-mail (ufs4life)
UFS Library Resources
Student MyAccess Portal

Zero-rated resources are those websites that are exempted from data fees when accessed through the platform.

All zero-rated access guidelines and related communication can be accessed through the KovsieLife website under a new icon (under the Student Toolbox), referred to as DigitalLife. The Digital Life Portal links you up with available zero-rated academic resources when working off campus. Please note that this list will change as new websites are added.

Refer to #UFSLearnOn, Get Connected! for more information on how to use the Digital Life Portal.

FOURTH EDITION: Ending strong and successful (18 April 2020)

Recess is over, now what?

Still wondering where, to begin with, preparations for the Online Transition and Orientation period, 20 -30 April 2020? Destination graduation is still where we are headed!

Download the latest edition of #UFSLearnOn: Ending Strong and Successful, packaged with the information, tips and tools to support you during this time.

Download your fourth edition!

THIRD EDITION: Stay on track for success (8 April 2020)

Dear Student
Even in these times, the final destination is still graduation.
Day 13 of the national lockdown, and the UFS community continues to work towards helping its students get that academic groove back. In this edition of #UFSLearnOn: Stay on track for success, we would like to encourage all Kovsies to simply think of their modules as if they are currently undergoing a bit of a make-over.
We are constantly aware of our students’ realities and are exploring all possible solutions to optimise the learning and teaching environment when academic activities resume.
This edition is packed with the mechanisms (tips, tools, and tricks) that are important to help you succeed.

Download your third edition!

SECOND EDITION: Get Connected, Get Started  (1 April 2020)
Dear Student
Since you are by now preparing for the transition to a new and different learning and teaching environment, there are certain things you need to know that will help to ease your transition.
This second edition of #UFSLearnOn: Get Connected, Get Started is packed with information, resources, and skills that will help you make the most of this transitional time.
Download your second edition!

FIRST EDITION: Keep calm #UFSLearnOn is here! (25 March 2020)

Dear Student,
This edition of the resource pack series is aimed at creating the best possible support for Kovsies. We have adapted existing support and practices most suited to our current realities.
#UFSLearnOn: Assess your current reality and breathe is aimed at helping you transition to our current reality and gives you a heads up on what is to come. It is critical during this time that you remain connected and are able to assess what needs to be done.
Download your first edition!

#UFSupdate (25 March 2020):
Keep Calm, Teach On and #UFSLearnOn: Clarification on learning and teaching at the UFS


Dear Student

Following the letter from the University of the Free State (UFS) on 24 March 2020, we would like to provide further clarification. We also received communication from Universities South African (USAf) regarding the dates when universities can start offering online learning and teaching to students.

The reason we are moving learning and teaching online, is that the UFS wants to create the best supportive environment for our staff and students under the circumstances. By moving online, we mean that students will not return to campus, but will continue learning by making use of Blackboard and other relevant websites. We have decided to move online since the national situation could change, and online learning and teaching will help us to better deal with some of the changes in the environment.  

We would like to emphasise that the #Keep Calm and #UFSLearnOn resources that will be distributed from Thursday 26 March 2020 is intended to help you prepare for learning in a new online environment. In light of the new communication from USAf, we will now start online learning from 20 April 2020.

Please see the adapted timelines when the Keep Calm and #UFSLearnOn resources will be shared:

26 March: This first edition will focus on helping you assess your current realities, and to kick-start planning for learning to continue.

1 April: Release of edition 2; this edition will be focused on getting connected and understanding how you will be learning when academic activities resume.

8 April: Edition 3 to be released; the third edition will focus on the skills you need to be a successful student in the new environment.

15 April: Edition 4 to be released; this edition will focus on helping you stay and finish strong.

20 April: Learning and teaching to resume. Communication to confirm if learning will take place on campus and/or online. This depends on the national lockdown in the country.

Please remember that faculties will also share faculty-specific information. The #UFSLearnOn transition resources will help you keep up to date with your faculty information.

This is an extraordinary time that will require all of us to draw on our courage and ability to adapt.

Please look out for information relating to the Keep Calm, Teach On and #UFSLearnOn campaigns managed by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in cooperation with the Department of Communication and Marketing on the following university communication platforms: UFS website (also KovsieLife webpage), Blackboard, social media, ufs4life email, KovsieApp and SMS.

Keep on learning



Kovsies Advice Editions

 #UFSLearnOn: Midway Mark

Cover image_edit
 Midway Mark (PDF)

Campus return made easy: Fast guide for students

Fast guide for students
Campus return: Fast guide for students (PDF)


Mental Health

Taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty is vital .

Visit the Kovsie Counselling document, I'm so stressed, for some assistance if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Also visit the #WellbeingWarriors page for more information on your mental wellbeing.

Previous Statements

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