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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 management supports Bloemfontein Celtic
2005-09-10

The senior management of the University of the Free State (UFS)  wore the T-shirts of Bloemfontein Celtic in a show of support for the local soccer club that has reached the final of the SAA Supa 8 competition.
 
The final between Bloemfontein Celtic and Gauteng-based Supersport United team will be played on Saturday 17 September 2005.

 

 

Front from left:
Ms Edma Pelzer, Director: Physical Resources and Special Projects; Prof Sakkie Steyn, Registrar: General and Mr Billyboy Ramahlele, Director: Diversity

Middle from left:
Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor; Dr Ezekiel Moraka, Vice-Rector: Student Affairs and Prof Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Academic Planning

Back from left:
Prof Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Academic Operations; Prof Niel Viljoen, Chief Director: Operations, Mr Willem Malherbe, Registrar: Strategic Planning; Prof Tienie Crous, Dean: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and Ds Kiepie Jaftha, Chief Director: Community Service
 

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