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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

Launch of the Africa office of the IIDE
2006-05-25

Attending the launch of the Africa office of the IIDE were from the left Prof Sytse Strijbos (Chairperson of IIDE Europe), Rev Kiepie Jaftha (Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS) and Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS).

 

Attending the launch were from the left Prof Lucius Botes (Director: Centre of Development Support at the UFS), Dr Samuel Kareithi (Head: Community Development at the Cornerstone Christian College, Cape Town), Rev Kiepie Jaftha (Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS), Prof Sytse Strijbos (Chairperson of IIDE Europe) and Dr Ezekiel Moraka (Vice-Rector:  Student Affairs at the UFS).

Africa office of IIDE launched on UFS main campus 

The Africa office of the International Institute for Development and Ethics (IIDE) was today (26 May 2006) launched on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.

“The IIDE specialises in the studying and research of general questions of developmental theory and practices and provides services and support in education, strategic planning, policy formulation, advocacy and capacity building of development agencies,” said Rev Kiepie Jaftha, Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS.

According to Rev Jaftha the IIDE in Africa will focus on the conceptual and normative aspects of developmental processes in Sub-Saharan Africa.  “We want to foster local and international partnerships with various relevant role-players in civil society, the private sector and public sector in the SACD region and later expand our operations to the rest of Africa,” said Rev Jaftha.

The IIDE in Africa cooperates with a similar foundation in Europe, functioning as the IIDE Europe.  This institute was founded in 2003 and its head office is situated in the Netherlands.  The UFS is a funder of the IIDE in Africa together with the Paul Foundation and private sponsors from the Netherlands.

“We have already started with various projects which are in various stages of implementation,” said Rev Jaftha.  Some of these projects include, among others, the broadening of the master’s degree in Christian Studies of Science and Society (MACSSS) which is currently housed at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam to tertiary institutions in South Africa such as the UFS, the University of Stellenbosch and the Potchefstroom Campus of the Northwest University.

“Another project is an investigation into the possibility of initiating a broad development initiative in the poverty stricken Qwaqwa area.  This initiative will attempt to concentrate on issues like the training and empowerment of prospective entrepreneurs in the region, the identification of prospective entrepreneurs for the rendering of development support and the monitoring of the impact of information and communication technology on local communities during the implementation of sustainable development initiatives,” said Rev Jaftha.

“The establishment of the Africa office of the IIDE on the UFS Main Campus is an indication of one of the aims of the UFS to play a role in South Africa and Africa.  It also signifies our aim to contribute meaningfully to research and development and to establish links between the academe and practice,” said Rev Jaftha. 

 

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 May 2006

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