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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

Kovsie's netball players triumph
2009-07-24

 
The Free State U-19 team that won the 2009 SA’s tournament that was held in Mafikeng.
 
 In action are Danique du Toit (left) and Mioné Steinman of the Free State U-19 team against the Western Province. They also won the 2009 SA’s tournament that was held in Mafikeng.
Photos: Markus Steinman
The University of the Free State’s (UFS) first netball team brought the silver medal home this year after they ended second in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Tournament that was held in Johannesburg. According to Ms Burta de Kock from KovsieSport at the UFS and coach of the team, the team suffered somewhat due to injuries and the fact that eight of their players were newcomers.

In spite of these challenges, six of the UFS players were included in the USSA team. They are Carine Terblanche, Shirolene Smith, Lienke Perold, Anuschka Greeff, Karla Mostert and Anja Zandberg. Karin Venter, also from KovsieSport at the UFS, was appointed as coach of the SA Universities Team.

Kovsie’s netball players also recently played for the Free State U-19 team in a tournament in Mafikeng. The entire team consisted of Kovsies. They won the gold medal by winning all their matches against other regions and provinces. Four of the Kovsie players were also included in the South African U-19 group. They are Karla Mostert, Mione Steinman, Cleopatra Kgoputso and Anuschka Greeff. Anuschka was named as the best goal shooter during the tournament.

The entire Free State U-21 team, which brought home the silver medal after they had lost to Gauteng in the final match, also consisted of Kovsie netball players. Six of these players were included in the South African U-21 team. They are Anja Opperman, Anja Zandberg, Poppie Thethele, Rika Stevenson, Nadia Nieuwoudt and Iselma Parkin. Iselma Parkin was also named the best defender of the tournament and Poppie Thethele the best centre player.

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