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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

Staff members do their bit for the environment
2012-05-28

 

Big blue boxes for the recycling of waste paper were placed in the foyer of the Francois Retief Building and staff and students were invited to bring their waste paper. Seventeen boxes of white paper and eight boxes of newspapers and magazines were collected.

In order to be involved in the green initiatives on campus, the Faculty of Health Sciences has been supporting the university recycling project. Last week, waste paper for recycling was collected in the foyer of the Francois Retief Building.

At the request of staff members, the faculty will repeat this initiative every term. “We thus urge you to collect all your waste paper for recycling – this can be full pages, scrap paper, or shredded paper. However, please keep white paper (normal photocopy and printing paper) separate from newspapers, magazines, coloured paper and cardboard. And please, no food!

“If you can’t wait until next term, the caretakers can also collect paper from your department – their contact details are listed below. What an easy way to tidy up your office!” said Marlene Viljoen from the faculty.

Empty ink cartridges can also be recycled If you have any, you can send them to the caretakers’ office or you can keep them with you until next term’s collection day in the foyer.

Staff will be notified via e-mail of the next collection day. “Thank you for your enthusiastic response,” Marlene said.

Contact the caretakers on 405 5953/ 3015, short cell number 6998, at any time to collect waste paper or ink cartridges in your department.
- Ilde Kilbourn
 

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