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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

Moshoeshoe Memorial Lecture to focus on Leadership challenges
2006-03-27

 Lecture to focus on Leadership challenges

 n Thursday 25 May 2006 – Africa Day – the University of the Free State (UFS) will host the inaugural King Moshoeshoe Memorial Lecture in honour of this great African leader and nation-builder.

 Prof Njabulo Ndebele, internationally renowned writer and academic, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT), will deliver the inaugural lecture at the Main Campus in Bloemfontein on the topic: Reflections on the Leadership Challenges in South Africa.

 “I see the lecture as part of a larger debate on leadership models, particularly the concept of African leadership, as well as the ongoing discourse about nation-building and reconciliation,” says Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

 According to Prof Fourie, the Moshoeshoe project was launched at the UFS in 2004 to coincide with South Africa’s first decade of democracy and was part of the University’s centenary celebrations, having been founded in 1904.

 “Through this project the UFS seeks to honour a great African leader and demonstrate our commitment to transformation so as to create a truly inclusive and non-racial university,” said Prof Fourie.

 “As the founder of the Basotho nation, King Moshoeshoe is widely credited for his exceptional style of leadership, displaying the characteristics of diplomacy, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence in his efforts to unite diverse groups into one nation,” said Prof Fourie.

 As part of its ongoing Moshoeshoe project, the UFS commissioned a television documentary programme on the life and legacy of King Moshoeshoe. This was completed in 2004 and broadcast on SABC 2 later that year.


Abridged curriculum vitae of Njabulo S Ndebele

Professor Njabulo S Ndebele is currently Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UCT.

 Njabulo Ndebele began his term of office at UCT in July 2000, following tenure as a scholar in residence at the Ford Foundation’s headquarters in New York.  He joined the Foundation in September 1998, immediately after a five-year term of office as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the North in Sovenga, at the then Northern Province.  Previously he served as Vice-Rector of the University of the Western Cape.  Earlier positions include Chair of the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand; and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean, and Head of the English Department at the National University of Lesotho.

 An established author, Njabulo Ndebele recently published a novel The Cry of Winnie Mandela to critical acclaim.  An earlier publication Fools and Other Stories won the Noma Award, Africa’s highest literary award for the best book published in Africa in 1984.  His highly influential essays on South African literature and culture were published in a collection Rediscovery of the Ordinary.

 Njabulo Ndebele served as President of the Congress of South African Writers for many years.  As a public figure he is known for his incisive insights in commentaries on a range of public issues in South Africa.  He holds honorary doctorates from Universities in the Netherlands, Japan, South Africa and the United States of America.  He is also a Fellow of UCT.

Njabulo Ndebele is also a key figure in South African higher education.  He has served as Chair of the South African Universities Vice-Chancellor’s Association from 2002-2005, and served on the Executive Board of the Association of African Universities since 2001.  He has done public service in South Africa in the areas of broadcasting policy, school curriculum in history, and more recently as chair of a government commission on the development and use of African languages as media of instruction in South African higher education.  He recently became President of the Association of the AAU and Chair of the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA).

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
26 March 2006

 

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