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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 introduces its Study-4-Free at Kovsies Project
2011-01-25

The University of the Free State (UFS) invites all former students who require one or two modules for the completion of a degree, diploma or certificate to complete their studies for free in 2012.

Under the university’s ‘Study-4-Free Project’, former students with a maximum of two outstanding modules may apply for the opportunity of completing those modules free-of-charge. This once-off offer covers only tuition and registration fees.
 
Students will have to meet certain criteria and apply in order to take part in this once-off ‘amnesty’ offer. Only former UFS students who were registered between 2005 and 2010 will be considered. The offer is applicable to Bachelors and Honours degrees, diplomas and certificates with the added condition that the outstanding modules are still part of the university’s current curriculum.
 
Once students are approved to take part in the project, they may only complete their outstanding modules during the 2012 academic year. If a student should fail for any reason to complete the one or two modules in 2012, they will not be able to take up the offer again.
 
Students who meet the above-mentioned criteria can apply by sending the following information to study4free@ufs.ac.za full name and surname, UFS student number, the faculty in which the student was registered and the name of the outstanding degree, diploma or certificate in question must be supplied.
 
The closing date for applications is 31 July 2011.
 
 
Media Release
25 January 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
 

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