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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

UFS to compete in Varsity Football
2013-07-22

 

19 July 2013

Kovsies have been chosen as one of the eight teams that will compete for the honours in the premier university football competition. The competition is hosted under the Varsity Sports endeavour, responsible for frantic university athletics and hockey competitions earlier in the year.

The football competition will take place at the various stadia of the participating universities – the University of Pretoria (UP Tuks), North-West University Mafikeng Campus (NWU Mafikeng), Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), University of the Western Cape (UWC), University of Cape Town (UCT), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and the UFS.

Certain matches promise to elevate the status of university football stars even further, as matches will be broadcast live on SuperSport. The tournament gets underway on Monday 22 July 2013, with the final to be played on 16 September 2013.

Luckily for UFS football fans, Kovsies will play their first match of the campaign against UCT with home-field advantage at Shimla Park. Kick-off on Monday 22 July 2013 is at 19:00.

For information on other features, schedules for the rest of the competition and information on televised matches, please click here.

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