Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
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

Kovsies welcomes first-years into the fold
2015-01-20

Three first-year students from the Kestell residence that attended the first-year welcoming.
Photos: Johan Roux


 

Few life experiences are as exciting as becoming part of a university. On Friday 16 January 2015, Kovsies embraced our first-year students into our family after great anticipation.

That evening, first-years and their parents streamed to the Red Square on our Bloemfontein Campus where they were formally welcomed. This event also served to kick off the 2015 Gateway Programme – an orientation programme for all our first-years.

Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations, addressed the first-years and congratulated them on their excellent matric results.

“The fact that you are here is a testimony to the level you are able to work at,” Dr Makhetha said.“You will have fun and make friends at the UFS. Your friends will be from different backgrounds and speak different languages than you. Embrace it all. You are now a part of the UFS family.

President of the Student Representative Council (SRC), Mosa Leteane, also reassured first-years that they are where they belong – at a university that inspires excellence.“This is the only space where the university’s international relations give opportunity to first-years to travel abroad with our F1 Leadership for Change Programme,” Leteane said. “It is the only space where the rector openly talks to his students, without having an appointment. It is the only space in our country where no student goes hungry due to our No Student Hungry (NSH) Programme.”

The following evening provided a spectacular live show with well-known artists Karen Zoid and Vusi Mahlasela entertaining the crowd. They performed alongside the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO) that added even more dazzle to this Gateway/NSH first-years concert.

On Saturday 17 January, the new-comers had an opportunity to visit their respective faculties and get to know the staff and facilities a bit better.

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