Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
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

Kovsies blossom with potential
2010-02-04

Pictured with Prof Jansen are, from the left: Marike Botha, Sibusiso Tshabalala, Cumine de Villiers, Portia Lehasa and Meyer Joubert.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse


The Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Jonathan Jansen, recently made closer acquaintance with five top Grade 12 achievers who are currently first-year students at the UFS.

The five students all achieved exceptional results in their final exams.

Cumine de Villiers from the Volkskool Secondary School in Potchefstroom obtained seven distinctions. She is an MBChB I student and resides in Roosmaryn Residence on the Main Campus. People are her passion, which makes a career as a doctor ideal for her. “I can help people physically, as well as emotionally. And save lives!” Her advice to learners is to work hard from Grade 11 already. According to her a balanced life is also very important: “The more you do, the better you can do.” One of her goals is to learn Sesotho while she is studying.

Marike Botha attended Potchefstroom Gymnasium. She obtained seven distinctions. She is also studying MBChB I and plans to become a paediatric surgeon. “I know one is going to lose patients, but one will also save lives.”

She resides in Roosmaryn Residence and plans to enjoy her student life to the full: “I am going to attend everything! Every dance, rugby match and serenade – there are some things in life that one can only experience once, and one’s first year is one of those.” According to her, the Grade 12 work is not that difficult; it is only a lot. She advises matriculants to always to their best and never to leave anything till later.

Sibusiso Tshabalala from HTS Welkom obtained three distinctions. He is studying BCom Law. He chose that degree because it perfectly integrates law and commerce. “In that way I am keeping my career options open”. He chose Kovsies for the opportunity to be part of one of the best Faculties of Law in South Africa. He resides in JBM Hertzog Residence. His advice to matriculants is to fully make use of every opportunity. “There will be setbacks – it is not supposed to be easy. All of that makes you a stronger person. Strive after your own goals – don’t measure them against others’ goals.”

Portia Lehasa from Eunice High School obtained five distinctions. She is studying BA Accounting and resides in Roosmaryn Residence. She chose Kovsies in order to be part of the transformation.

“Transformation leads to growth – and growth is essential for all persons.” She chose accounting because she enjoys challenges. “It is also a skill that will enable me to empower the economic status of South Africa.”

She also wants to become involved in everything on campus and make a difference. “You are going to see me a lot – I am going to change the world!” She also has some advice for matriculants: “It is very important to have a goal. In that way one still has something to strive for. It helps incredibly.”

Meyer Joubert attended the Ferdinand Postma Secondary School in Potchefstroom. He obtained seven distinctions. He is an MBChB I student and resides in Abraham Fischer Residence. “One’s life only becomes meaningful once one does something for someone else; that is why I want to become a doctor. By means of medicine one can make a difference to someone else’s life.” He plans to become the best doctor possible. According to him learners can take it leisurely up to Grade 10. “The requirements for many fields of study, like medicine, already apply from Grade 10. Therefore it is important to start to focus and work hard from then onwards. However, don’t only study! Balance is very important; therefore participate in sports, cultural activities and, of course, socialise.”

Prof. Jansen was, rightly so, impressed by all the talent that have settled at Kovsies this year: “This is only the beginning. With so much potential Kovsies can blossom!”

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
4 February 2010
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept