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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

Memorial service for Ms Winkie Direko
2012-02-21

 
Ms Winkie Direko was a loved and respected Chancellor.

 

The senior leadership, staff and students of the University of the Free (UFS) are saddened by the death of Ms Winkie Direko on Friday 17 February 2012.

Ms Direko, who was Chancellor of the university from July 1999 to February 2003, was the first black person and also the first woman to hold this position.

“Ms Direko was a much-loved person in the Free State as well as a loved and respected Chancellor of the UFS. Her continued involvement with the university was always appreciated by the university community. We honour her memory and her directional leadership as former Chancellor,” says Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, says Ms Direko was one of South Africa's greatest teacher-leaders and one of the few former teachers he could really look up to. “Rest well, Ma Winkie; you left us a great example,” he said.

A memorial service will be held on:

  • Thursday 23 February 2012
  • at 14:00

A bus will leave the Centenary Complex at 13:00 for the service that will take place at the indoor sport centre in the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Rocklands.

Please RSVP to Tharina Naudé not later than Wednesday 22 February at 12:00 at x3829 or naudehc@ufs.ac.za.

It will be appreciated if you could wear your university branded clothes (shirt or blazer) to the service.


Media Release
21 February 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
 

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