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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

Nominations for Kovsie Alumni Awards now open
2009-06-25

It is once again time to nominate candidates for the University of the Free State’s (UFS) three Kovsie Alumni Awards made annually.
Nominations can be made for the Kovsie Alumnus of the Year Award, Cum Laude Award and the Alumni Award for Exceptional Service to the UFS. The Kovsie Alumnus of the Year Award honours the outstanding achievements of a Kovsie alumnus at national or international level. The person must still be alive. From time to time, the Cum Laude Award is bestowed on an alumnus for outstanding service or achievement at regional, national or international level in his/her field of work. The Alumni Award for Outstanding Service to the UFS is awarded to any person (not necessarily an alumnus) who delivered exceptional service to the University from time to time.

Nominations should contain the following:

1. Any alumnus can submit a written nomination for the above-mentioned awards.
2. At least five alumni seconders must support the nomination.
3. A comprehensive motivation and a brief curriculum vitae of the candidate must accompany the nomination.
4. The candidate’s complete address and telephone number must also be provided.

Nominations can be submitted to Ms Annanda Calitz, Alumni Awards, PO Box 2319 Bloemfontein, 9300 or 086 523 5108 or ficka.stg@ufs.ac.za. The closing date for submission of nominations is 24 July 2009. The Awards Dinner will take place on 4 September 2009.

Media Release
Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
24 June 2009

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