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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 gets equipment worth R3,9 million to do doping tests for the World Cup
2010-05-18

One of the new state-of-the-art machines to be used for dope testing.
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe


The South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein boasts new state-of-the-art equipment worth R3,9 million with which doping tests for next month’s 2010 FIFA World Cup will be done.

“Our new instruments are some of the best in the world,” said a proud Dr Pieter van der Merwe, Head of the laboratory.

SADoCoL, housed in the Department of Pharmacology at the UFS, has done doping analyses for many international sport events in South Africa and elsewhere in the world, including the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the Sevens Rugby World Cup in Dubai.

“Because of our international recognition and accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) the laboratory was selected to be the official doping control facility of the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” he said.

“FIFA has entered into a contract with us and they will send all the urine and blood samples for the World Cup to this laboratory. I must hasten to say that it is not only for the World Cup. We will continue with the work that we have been doing all these years regarding doping analysis in South Africa.”

“It is an honour for the Department and the UFS to offer a world-class service to a world-class association like FIFA and to be associated with a tournament of this magnitude.”

Being the only one of its kind in South Africa, and one of only two in Africa (the other being in Tunisia), it is not surprising that FIFA has entered into this partnership with SADoCoL.

“It is a well-known fact that we have been, and still are, the official doping control testing facility in South Africa for many years now. So there is also a lot of African involvement in our laboratory where African countries send samples to us for analysis,” he said.

It is not for the first time, though, that SADoCoL is involved with FIFA. The laboratory did all the testing for the Confederations Cup that was held in South Africa in June 2009.

It had just been extended to accommodate the new equipment. An official viewing session of the new facility was held last week.

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

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