Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

First Global Leadership Summit brings partner universities to our university
2012-05-17

The University of the Free State (UFS) is gearing up for the Global Leadership Summit when students from universities all over the world will visit the UFS. The summit will take place from Sunday 8 July to Friday 20 July 2012. About 180 staff and students from universities in the United States, Asia and Europe are expected to visit the UFS during these two weeks and eminent scholars and politicians have already confirmed their participation. Among them are Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Dr Tim Murithi, Prof. Mark Solms, Fulbright Scholars who were previously tenured at the university, and a number of ambassadors.

Prof. Aldo Stroebel, Director: International Academic Programmes, Office of the Vice-Chancellor, says that our university has increasingly embedded internationalisation in its strategic priorities. The Leadership for Change Programme, jointly hosted by International Affairs and Student Affairs, is a significant step forward in this context. This innovative and unique programme, initiated in 2010, serves as a leadership development programme focused on first-year students. It aims to build layers of new thinking and engagement among students from diverse backgrounds. As part of a year-long engagement, each student spends a period abroad where there is intense exposure to the academic, social, cultural and residential lives of students in other countries. A formal mentor development programme for staff runs concurrently with the initiative.
 
In the 2010 programme, 71 students in various cohorts were placed at nine universities in the USA. Following on the success of this initiative, in 2011, 150 students were hosted at partner universities in the USA, Europe and Japan. The impact of cross-cultural and cross-border experiences on changing and enriching the participants’ minds and attitudes has been manifested in a wide variety of ways at both the UFS and the partner institutions.
 
The Global Leadership Summit, with the theme, “Transcending Boundaries of Global Change Leadership”, is a reciprocal programme of the Leadership for Change initiative. It will focus on international engagements in addressing salient issues around change leadership, diversity and racial reconciliation in Higher Education through critical dialogues between staff and students from all over the world.
 
The programme will be continued during 2013 when 150 students will again be selected for participation and placement abroad.


Media Release
17 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

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept