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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

The Olympic Games – then and now
2012-05-04

4 May 2012

The first victory at the Olympic Games in the little Greek town of Olympia was recorded in the year 776 B.C. For the next 1 000 years, athletes congregated to compete at Olympia every four years in August/September.

The 27th modern Olympic Games will commence in London, England on 27 July this year. Counting from 1896, the year of the first modern Olympic Games, this year’s Games should have been the 30th. However, the Games did not take place three times: In 1916 during the First World War and again in 1940 and 1944 during the Second World War.

Prof. Louise Cilliers of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies will look at certain aspects of the ancient Olympic Games and compare them with the nature of the items and the records of today in a lecture titled “The Olympic Games – then and now” on Tuesday 8 May 2012.

Numerous questions will be discussed, such as what the nature of the records are that were held in the absence of stop watches and standard distances, why the games were held in August/September from the start, what the differences are between ancient and modern items, where all the symbols that have become associated with the Olympic Games came from, and if Baron de Coubertin was right in his glorifying of amateur sport during the ancient times.

  • Place: Senate Hall (CR Swart Building)
  • Time: 19:00 to 20:00
     

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