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02 May 2018 Photo Charl Devenish
South Campus UAP celebrates 27 years of access to education
Mr Francois Marais, Prof Kalie Strydom, Prof Daniella Coetzee (South Campus Principal), Prof Francis Petersen, Dr Nthabeleng Rammile (Vice-Chairperson of the UFS Council), and Dr Khotso Mokhele (Chancellor of the UFS).

More than 27 years ago, international funding from the Human Sciences Research Council and Anglo American was put to an unusual use for that time. Prof Kalie Strydom’s research unit at the University of the Free State (UFS) was tasked with reviewing how institutional missions would change in the new South Africa. Prof Strydom worked closely with surrounding communities in Bloemfontein to develop a bridging course which would help students who showed potential to access tertiary education, although they did not meet the requirements. His vision brought to birth the University Access Programme (UAP), as it is known today, which is hosted on the UFS South Campus, and is still providing unique access to higher-education institutions in South Africa.

People with a passion for human development
March 2018 saw the 27th anniversary of this remarkable initiative, which has given a second chance to over 18 000 students. Special guests at the event included Prof Strydom, Mr Francois Marais, and representatives from the Department of Higher Education and Training and Investec’s corporate social investment office.

Dr Sonja Loots, researcher in the UFS Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), singled out two key individuals in the formation of the UAP: Prof Kalie Strydom, who initiated the programme, and Mr Marais, who has been Director of the UAP since its inception. Dr Loots highlighted one of the driving forces behind Prof Strydom’s perseverance, vision, and determination with the UAP by quoting from an interview with him for an upcoming book on student access and success. He said, “It was a decision based on principle … to be part of the solution to a better country.”

Access and success still an issue today
In his presentation on the “Importance of Access”, Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, pointed out the vital role of access in South Africa, especially the value it offers for the betterment of the country’s people. However, he said that student success is also an issue, and institutions need to be accountable for it. Quoting Prof John Martin of the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Engineering, “We must be flexible on access, but robust on success.” Only by “closing the loop” in this way, can the UFS and other higher-education institutions ensure a valuable contribution to the economy of the country.

News Archive

Award-winning artist and UFS intertwine
2017-06-10

Description: Nomusa Makhubu Tags: Nomusa Makhubu

Nomusa Makhubu’s work will be exhibited for the next
few weeks at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery.
Photo: Kara Schoeman

“It is this sense of ownership, or the loss thereof, that I would still like to explore.” Exploring issues of identity, and more particularly, the sensitive issue of representation through the medium of photography, is exactly what Nomusa Makhubu sets out to do in her exhibition entitled Intertwined 2005 – 2017.

The issue of self-representation
This solo exhibition is a survey of Makhubu’s practice as a lens-based artist working mainly with portraiture, performance and space-time politics. Her exhibition includes the series entitled, Trading Lies, Self-Portrait Project, Inquietude, The Flood and In Living Colour.

The exhibition, in association with Erdmann Contemporary, is on display in the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery at the University of the Free State from 24 May to 23 June 2017. She has exhibited in Africa, Europe, the US, and China.

Throughout this exhibition, Makhubu focuses on the issue of self-representation, but also brings in geographical locations to question the assumed universality and objectivity of time and place.

Not only an artist, but a writer too
As an award-winning artist, academic and a full-time lecturer at Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, Makhubu is a force to be reckoned with in the art world. She has also contributed her writing to Critical Arts, African Arts, the Journal of African Cultural Studies and Third Text, as well as other book projects and catalogues.

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