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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 again involved in this year's Science Expo
2009-08-21

The annual Science Expo will once again take place at the South Campus (formerly known as the Vista Campus) of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein from 20-22 Augustus 2009.

This is the 25th year that the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science at the UFS is involved in the project as one of the main sponsors for the regional competition. This involvement stems from the institution’s endeavour to promote a love for science amongst youth at an early age already. In this way, new thoughts and development are stimulated with regard to science.

The total involvement of the faculty amounts to approximately R25 000, which includes:

  • The sponsoring of prizes and gift hampers for 220 medallists
  • The sponsoring of two floating trophies awarded to the primary and secondary school with the most Gold medals, as well as R1 000 cash for the two winning
    schools as prize money
  • The sponsoring of medals for the best project for Grades 4-7, Grades 8-9 and Grades 10-12
  • The sponsoring of merit bursaries to the value of approximately R1 800 for the
    best project: Grades 10-12 at the Science Expo
  • The sponsoring of a special prize for the best project in Soil Sciences to the
    value of R500
  • The venue is made available for free for the project
  • The sponsoring of other expenses to the value of R10 000

This year approximately 432 participants entered for the Science Project. The best projects will participate in the National Science Expo in Pretoria from 2-3 October 2009, where a group of learners will be selected to go to the International Science Expo.

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

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