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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

Another opportunity to take part in Success Week
2010-07-08

Student Development and Success (SDS) at the University of the Free State (UFS) is focused on helping students succeed as lifelong learners. To accomplish this, SDS has designed Success Week to provide students with the necessary skills and information to help them succeed in their studies.

The success of the first-semester orientation programme has led to the decision of hosting a Get.Success@UFS 2010: Reloaded programme from 19 to 29 July 2010.

Students who previously attended the programme thoroughly enjoyed the programme and learnt a lot from it. It also became clear that they needed more support. The aim of the Reloaded programme is to enhance students’ thinking processes regarding their personal as well as career development. It is open to all students. The focus of the presentations will not only be on helping students to make a success of their studies but also to provide those students who are completing their studies with useful knowledge and skills to plan for their career pathways.

The Get.Success@UFS 2010: Reloaded programme starts on Monday 19 July with a launch where Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, will address students and motivate them once again for the second half of the 2010 academic year. Thereafter the UFS staff will compete against the SRC in the 5-on-a-side soccer tournament that will take place at Pellies Park. Members of Bloemfontein Celtic will also be present. Students can spend the day participating in the mini soccer tournament or just come and support their teams.
This is an excellent opportunity for students to make new friends and spend the day relaxing before the start of the second academic term. There will be prizes for the winning teams as well as for the best war cry and the most spirited team and fan base. There will also be funky give-aways for the spectators.

For the rest of the week there will be three interactive sessions which students can attend to help equip themselves with the necessary skills to succeed in their studies and future endeavours. The sessions include: Game Plan for Success, How to Build your Fortune, CV Writing, and Job Hunting.
Blackboard training will be hosted during the two weeks to show students how to effectively use this medium in their studies. There will be two opportunities for students to visit and be taken on a tour through the library to learn about the services offered.

All information and detailed programmes are available at www.ufs.ac.za/getsuccessufs .


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

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