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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 Alumni honours four
2007-02-19

 Mr Corrie van Zyl, former South African fast bowler and assistant coach of the national cricket squad, will be honoured by the Alumni of the University of the Free State (UFS) as Kovsie Alumnus of the Year 2006.
 
The award is made to Mr Van Zyl for his outstanding contribution to cricket. Under his guidance the Gestetner Diamond Eagles performed excellently and won five out of the six national one-day cricket tournaments they took part in.
 
The Cum Laude Award, awarded from time to time to any alumnus for outstanding service or achievement at local, national or international level in his/her specific career domain, will be awarded to Messrs Zingile Dingani and  Deon Meyer.
 
Mr Dingani will receive the Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award for his influential position in the government of South Africa as secretary of Parliament.  As former MEC for Finance in the Free State, he performed significant leadership roles in transforming the Free State economy. The Mail and Guardian described him “as a high performer who is likely to become the next Provincial Premier”.
 
Mr Deon Meyer, acclaimed South African suspense novel writer, will also receive a Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award for 2006.  Mr Meyer received numerous acknowledgements and awards for his contribution to literature on both national and international level.
 
Prof Helena Van Zyl, Director of the School of Management at the UFS, receives the Kovsie Alumni National Management Award for exceptional service during 2006.  Through her extraordinary abilities and leadership skills, Prof Van Zyl has managed to build the School of Management at the UFS to one of the most reckoned management schools countrywide.
 
The award ceremony will take place on Friday 9 March 2007 during a gala award banquet in the Reitz Hall of the UFS Centenary Complex on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.  
 
All alumni of the UFS are welcome to attend the function. The guest artists will be various talented Kovsies and the entrance fee of R100 per person includes a three course meal.  
 
Those who are interested can contact Ms Annanda Calitz at 051 401 3382 or alumni@ufs.ac.za.
 
Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
16 February 2007
 

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