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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

Counterfeit HIV / AIDS drugs must be dealt with
2006-02-16

Some of the guests attending the lecture were from the left Prof Johan Henning (Dean:  UFS Faculty of Law), Dr Jayasuriya, Prof Voet du Plessis (Head: UFS Department of Mercantile Law) and Dr Ezekiel Moraka (Vice-Rector:  Student Affairs at the UFS).
Photo: Stephen Collett

Counterfeit HIV / AIDS drugs must be dealt with

An international legal expert who has worked with various UN agencies has called on governments to deal quickly and decisively with people dealing in counterfeit HIV / AIDS drugs.

The Vice-President of the Global Jurists Foundation and former head of the UNAIDS secretariat in Pakistan, Dr Dayanath Jayasuriya, was speaking at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

Delivering a guest lecture on HIV/ AIDS and human rights in developing countries, Dr Jayasuriya said counterfeit drugs were spreading at an alarming rate throughout the world.  He said that in particular counterfeit HIV / AIDS drugs contribute to the vulnerability of persons living with HIV / AIDS.

“Only a few countries have integrated anti-counterfeit drug provisions into national legislation on medicinal drugs” he said.
According to Dr Jayasuriya, the violation of the rights of people living with HIV / AIDS is continuing despite the fact that many governments have adopted various charters and declarations that are meant to guarantee the human rights of citizens.

He said these violations have included the brutal murder of persons with HIV / AIDS.

Other violations include verbal abuse and physical injuries through acts of torture; deprivation or denial of access to employment; medical facilities, including drugs; accommodation; food; social service benefits; insurance; custody of children, and so on.

“In recorded human history HIV / AIDS is by no means the first ever major public health epidemic to confront human kind. However, none of the other epidemics generated the same degree and intensity of human rights concerns,” Dr Jayasuriya said.

 

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