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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

Senior leadership approves CSRC appeal
2012-05-14

The senior leadership of the UFS has approved the appeal lodged by the Central Student Representative Council (CSRC) to allow students deregistered on 30 April 2012 for not meeting their financial obligations, to write the May/June 2012 exams.
 
As from 14 May 2012, a relatively small number of 428 deregistered students will automatically have their registration reinstated and they will be granted the opportunity to write exams, provided that they have obtained a 40% predicate mark for each module.
 
A name list of the deregistered students will be sent to the heads of departments where they were enrolled. Only students who have obtained a 40% semester mark will be permitted to write exams.
 
Today the Executive Committee of Senate approved a recommendation that those students who only become aware of this arrangement after one of their scheduled modules has already been examined, may apply for permission to the Academic Timetables and Venues Office, Room 166, George du Toit Administration Building on the Bloemfontein Campus, to write a special examination. On the Qwaqwa Campus students may apply for permission to the Examination Section, Room 137 in the Administration Building.
 
This will, however, be a once-off opportunity and students will not be afforded another opportunity to write exams if they miss the first examination opportunity as well as the special examination. A student who writes only the special examination and fails will not be given a further opportunity. A student who writes the main examination and does poorly, but qualifies for a supplementary examination, may write the supplementary examination in the additional examination period.
 

This arrangement applies to all UFS campuses.
 

Media Release
14 May 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

 

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