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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

Roelf Meyer – Inaugural Recipient of the UFS Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award
2015-08-17

The University of the Free State is pleased to announce that Roelf Meyer is the inaugural recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

A lawyer by profession, Roelf Meyer’s contributions to the human interests of South Africa are immeasurable. Advocate Meyer’s current work in business and consultancy on peace processes around the globe benefits from his historic role as chief negotiator for the National Party (NP) alongside Cyril Ramaphosa, chief negotiator for the African National Congress (ANC).

Meyer will receive the award from the university on 29 August 2015 at the first annual Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Awards Luncheon.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award initiates a tradition at the University of the Free State that will honour excellent alumni who model superior academic and/or human achievement. Selected recipients embody the spirit of a transformed, inclusive society, and the modernised intent of the University of the Free State.The guest speaker will be Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Executive Director of Inyathelo, and a renowned politician.

The Luncheon will be held on Saturday, 29 August 2015 at 12h00 in the Reitz Hall of the Centenary Complex on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. Entrance to all events is free of charge.
For concert tickets, please contact Institutional Advancement at 051 401 3966/9343 or alumni@ufs.ac.za.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and Luncheon are anchor initiatives for Reunion Weekend 2015, which takes place on 28-29 August. Please visit the alumni web site for additional information about the weekend’s activities.

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