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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

Intravarsity brings Kovsie Campuses together
2012-05-09

 

Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses find each other in sport, arts and culture.

 

Intravarsity Photo Gallery
 

Intravarsity

Two campuses, one university, students coming together for a weekend filled with sport, arts and culture. That was the backdrop to Intravarsity 2012, which was held at the University of the Free State (UFS) on 4 and 5 May 2012.

Students from the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses came together on the Main Campus to compete in soccer, netball, cross-country, basketball, debating and chess.

The Qwaqwa Campus raked up victories in soccer with their men’s and women’s teams beating their Bloemfontein counterparts. The women’s team won 3-2, while the men triumphed with 1-0.

Bloemfontein Campus beat Qwaqwa Campus 34-12 in netball, 2-0 in chess and 36-34 in basketball.

However, Intravarsity is not just about sport. Students from the two campuses also engaged in art, cultural and leadership events. These events included a musical festival with top local DJs and a leadership breakfast attended by the student leadership from both campuses.

Talking at the leadership breakfast, Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo, Head of the Centre for Africa Studies, urged student leaders to strive for selfless leadership. “We want our student leaders to be better leaders than we are. Perhaps at one moment some of you may end up leading this country. I hope when your time comes you will save South Africa from the democratisation of shamelessness and corruption, which has gained the upper hand.”

Mr Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs, told the student leaders that the institution was in crisis five years ago. “Today our campuses are together. I hope the significance of the weekend is not lost.”

Intravarsity 2012 replaced this year’s Intervarsity. The annual Intervarsity between the UFS and North-West University (NWU) has been postponed to 2013.
 

Kovsie student leaders discuss leadership at Intravarsity


Student leaders from the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses attended a leadership breakfast during the Intravarsity weekend of 4 and 5 May 2012. The breakfast, held on the Main Campus, was hosted by the Division: Student Affairs.

Taking lessons in leadership from Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo, Head of the Centre for Africa Studies, the Kovsie student leaders discussed the duties and responsibilities of leadership, not only on our campuses but also throughout the country.
 
Highlighting the role of student leadership Prof. Kondlo told students they needed to be active partners in building a cohesive and united university.
 
“Student leadership is important in the life of any university; it creates conditions the university requires for the construction and production of knowledge. This is very important; hence cooperation between student leadership and management is so vital.”


Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo’s speech that he delivered at the leadership breakfast.
(pdf format)
 

 

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