Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
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

National Literacy Month celebrated
2013-09-16

 

Revelling in the lighter side of life on Robben Island, were from left: Paddy Harper, Gugu Kunene, Peter-Paul Ngwenya, Betsy Eister, Director of the UFS Library and Information Services, and Fred Khumalo.
Photo: Jerry Mokoroane
16 September 2013

In recognition of National Literacy Month, the UFS Library and Information Services hosted journalists Fred Khumalo, Paddy Harper and Gugu Kunene, who launched their book,‘The lighter side of Life on Robben Island’, to Bloemfontein book lovers.

Khumalo, a Sunday Times review columnist, Harper, a journalist for City Press, and Kunene, a former SABC journalist, enthralled the audience with snippets from their book. “We have read so many other books on Robben Island,” Khumalo said, “focusing on the famous people like (Nelson) Mandela and (Ahmed) Kathrada. The idea of this book is to reflect on lesser-known individuals; explore and illuminate other aspects of their lives."

To give the audience just such an intimate glimpse into those experiences, Peter-Paul Ngwenya – a former inmate on Robben Island –shared the stage in the Scaena Theatre. When Ngwenya, now chairperson of Makana Investment Corporation, regaled attendees with anecdotes from fellow detainees and everyday prison life, he brought the entire house down in stitches of laughter.

Contrasting the light banter of everyday life with the hardships prisoners faced, Khumalo said the book celebrates "the humanity of individuals – those sides of the story that make them human beings with fully fledged lives."

 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept