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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 increases admission requirements
2010-07-26

Admissions criteria for entry to undergraduate programmes at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be increased with immediate effect. This means that students who begin their undergraduate studies in 2011 will need to meet the new admissions criteria in order to register.

“Increasing admissions requirements is a critical component of our unwavering commitment to excellent academic standards and educational quality at the UFS,” said Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Teaching and Learning at the UFS.

“The challenge of student success at most South African universities is something that has attracted increasing attention over the past few years. We believe that it is our responsibility as an educational institution to admit students that we are confident are likely to be successful, and also to provide the very best quality of teaching and learning to ensure success.”

The university is also acutely aware that large numbers of young people in the country attend schools that are not adequately resourced to provide the quality of schooling needed for successful university study.

“We are thus committed to working with schools and with talented learners in order to address this challenge,” said Prof. Hay.

“The university currently has several initiatives in this regard. Further, our innovative and extremely successful University Preparation Programme (UPP) provides an opportunity for students with potential who do not meet the university entrance criteria to complete a bridging year that prepares them for the rigours of university.”

For students who begin their studies in 2011 the following changes will come into effect:

  • The minimum requirement for entry into undergraduate programmes will increase from 28 points to 30 points.
  • The minimum requirement for entry into extended programmes will increase from 23 points to 25 points.
  • The minimum requirement for entry into the University Preparation Programme will increase from 17 points to 20 points.
  • Subject-specific requirements specified by faculties will remain the same, except for Natural and Agricultural Sciences (contact the Faculty Manager at 051 401 3199).
  • All programmes that already require a minimum score of 30 points and above will not be changed.
  • The minimum entrance criteria for the B.Ed. Foundation Phase and B.Ed. Intermediate Phase will increase from 23 points to 25 points.
  • The minimum entrance criteria for B.Soc.Sc. Nursing will increase from 28 to 29 points.

Performance in the National Benchmark Tests will be used for placing students into academic support modules as needed.

These test results will not be used for admissions decisions in 2011, except for Faculties where it is used as part of their selection process.
Prospective students are encouraged to submit their applications for study in 2011 as soon as possible.
For telephone enquiries, please dial 051 401 3000.

 

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

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