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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

UFS celebrates Kovsie Week
2009-08-21

The University of the Free State (UFS) will be celebrating Kovsie Week from 31 August to 4 September 2009. The week affords friends, colleagues and former colleagues of the UFS the opportunity to enjoy one another’s company and to experience what the university offers.

The programme is as follows:

On Monday, 31 August 2009, a star-gazing programme and lecture entitled “400 Years of Astronomy after Galileo” are presented by Prof. Matie Hoffman at the Boyden Observatory at 17:30 for 18:00. Attendance is free and bus transport will be available from the UFS Main Campus for the first 70 guests that respond. Reserved parking has been arranged with a security guard to look after the cars that are left on the campus.

On Tuesday, 1 September 2009, guests can attend the production by Pieter Venter entitled “Impi” for free in the Wynand Mouton Theatre at 14:30 for 15:00.

On Wednesday, 2 September 2009, an enjoyable morning in the company of Mr Derek de Bruyn from the National Museum is presented at the Centenary Complex of the UFS at 09:30 for 10:00. He will talk about the social life of Bloemfontein during the early 1900s and guests will be entertained by the Boere Orkes of Grey College Primary School under the direction of Santjie Louw. Attendance of this event is free.

On Thursday, 3 September 2009, at 19:00 for 19:30, a candle-light, sherry and soup evening with romantic piano music is presented at the UFS Centenary Complex by Prof. Nicol Viljoen from the UFS’s Department of Music. The programme includes, amongst others, 10 Lieder ohne worte (Felix Mendelssohn), as well as Ballade No. 1 (Fryderyk Chopin). Attendance of this event is also free.

The week will end with the Kovsie-Alumni Award Gala Dinner that will take place in the UFS Centenary Complex on Friday, 4 September 2009, at 18:30 for 19:00.
The cost per person for the dinner is R120. The Kovsie of the Year Award for alumni, the Cum Laude Award, and the Alumni Award for Exceptional Service at the UFS will be awarded at this occasion.

Transport can be arranged to all the functions and parking will be available as close as possible to the venue where the functions take place. Persons interested to attend any of the functions can contact Annanda Calitz at 051 401 3382 or ficka.stg@ufs.ac.za, or Ms Kathy Verwey at 051 401 9343 or verweyke.stg@ufs.ac.za.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
21 August 2009

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