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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

Kovsies well represented in Cheetah rugby team
2006-10-10

Champions support champions.  Sport stars from the University of the Free State (UFS) today pledged their support to the Cheetah team with their participation this weekend in the Currie Cup final.  From the left are:  Boy Soke (SA Cross Country Champion), Nicolaas le Roux (captain of the Shimla rugby team), prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and  Vice-Chancellor), Ben Rheeder (Shimla hooker) and Charlene Hertzog (Captain of the Protea team and the UFS first netball team).

Kovsies well represented in Cheetah rugby team

Altogether 10 current and former Kovsies will most likely be included in the Cheetah team of 22 players that will compete for a place in the team that will play against the Blue Bulls on Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein in the final game of the Currie Cup.

“The University of the Free State (UFS) is proud of its rugby players and sees this milestone as another example of our commitment to maintaining quality sports performances,” said Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

Prof Fourie said the UFS will stand solidly behind the Cheetahs this weekend so that the Currie Cup can stay in the Free State.

“It is not every day that we can boast with such a high representation in a provincial team.  Each of these players has proven himself to be a true sportsman and some of them are also Springbok rugby players.  This makes the honour even greater for the UFS,” said Prof Fourie.

The current and former Kovsies are Ollie le Roux (captain and loose head prop), Wian du Preez (loose head prop), Richardt Strauss (hooker), Jannie du Plessis (tight  head prop), Noël Oelschig (scrumhalf), Michael Claassens (scrumhalf), Meyer Bosman (flyhalf), JW Jonker (center, back line), Philip Burger (flyhalf/back) and Jaco du Toit (hooker). 
“Last year we honored two former Kovsies for their contribution to the success of the Cheetah team.  Mr Naka Drotské, team manager of the Cheetahs, was appointed as  Kovsie of the Year and Mr Harold Verster, President of the Free State Rugby Union, received the Cum Laude Award,” said Prof Fourie.

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

 

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