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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

First for UFS – Students learn from industry
2005-09-02

The University of the Free State (UFS) will present a Career Development Week from 19-23 September 2005 for students on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.  This will give companies the opportunity to introduce themselves to students. 

It will be the first time that such a programme is presented at the UFS.  Similar career development programmes take place at most of the other big South African universities.

This initiative was inspired by the huge need among students to network with the business sector so as to prepare themselves for the practical demands made on prospective employees in the marketplace.  The UFS also receives many requests from the corporate and private sector to meet with students with a view to possible recruitment.

There will be no costs involved at participating in the programme and companies may also use it as a recruitment opportunity.

The Career Development Week will be presented in the format of “lunch hour talks”.  Companies specify at which time and date they would prefer to make a presentation of about 30 minutes to the students.  Aspects to be covered in the presentation include information about the company, the career possibilities within the company and the type of academic qualifications and personality characteristics needed in the specific company and industry.  If necessary, afternoon sessions (14:00–17:00) could be arranged.

Companies interested in taking part in this opportunity can contact Ms Ilse Olivier on (051) 4012415.

Media release
Issued by:  Lacea Loader
   Media Representative
   Tel:  (051) 401-2584
   Cell:  083 645 2454
   E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
   2 September 2005

 

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