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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

Record number of students to graduate at UFS
2017-06-19

Description: Day 2 Mid-year Graduation Bloemfontein Campus Tags: Day 2 Mid-year Graduation Bloemfontein Campus

Eleven graduation ceremonies will form part of the
mid-year graduation ceremonies at the
University of the Free State.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Livestream of Graduation Ceremonies

Six days, eleven ceremonies, and more than 5 000 degrees. This all forms part of what is the biggest set of graduation ceremonies in the history of the University of the Free State (UFS).

The mid-year graduation ceremonies, taking place from 19 to 26 June 2017 in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus, will see the most students graduate during a week. A total of 5 258 degrees, which includes 460 master’s and doctoral degrees, will be conferred – including 72 doctoral degrees.

First graduation ceremonies for Prof Petersen
It will also be the first ceremonies that Prof Francis Petersen, new Rector and Vice-Chancellor, attends on the Bloemfontein Campus. Students from all seven faculties, as well as the South Campus, will graduate.

Graduates per faculty are (without master’s and doctoral degrees): Faculty of Education (488), Faculty of Health Sciences (345), Faculty of Theology (29), Faculty of Law (686), Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (1 029), Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (1 044), Faculty of the Humanities (826), and the South Campus (354).

Guest speakers include three judges
Guest speakers for the ceremonies include Dipiloane Phutsisi, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of the Motheo TVET College in the Free State, Dr Susan Vosloo, UFS Council member and founder member of the World Society for Paediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, and Prof Petersen.

Three judges will also act as speakers. They are Justice Ian van der Merwe, Judge of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal and former Chair of the UFS Council, Justice Mahube Molemela, Judge President of the Free State Division of the High Court and Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of South Africa, and Justice Connie Mocumie, Judge of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Graduations ceremonies:

19 June 2017:
09:00: Faculty of Education, except educational qualifications in Open Distance Learning –  South Campus
14:30: Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Theology and Faculty of Law (including the School of Financial Planning Law)

20 June 2017:
09:00: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: All Bachelor’s degrees
14:30: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: All Diplomas and Bachelor Honours degrees

21 June 2017:
09:00: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: All Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees and Bachelor Honours degrees, excluding BCom degrees
14:30: Faculty of the Humanities: Social Sciences and Communication Sciences only

22 June 2017:
09:00: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: BCom degrees only
14:30: Faculty of the Humanities: All qualifications except Social Sciences and Communication Sciences

23 June 2017:
14:30: Educational qualifications in Open Distance Learning – South Campus

26 June 2017:
09:00: All faculties except the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: Master’s and Doctoral degrees
14:30: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: Master’s and Doctoral degrees


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