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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

What if we put it to you that Barry Roux is to visit Kovsies?
2015-08-20


Advocate Barry Roux in action at Oscar Pistorius' trial.
Photo: Supplied

The SRC Legal and Constitutional Affairs office, in conjunction with the Law Faculty, are launching the Student Court this week.

 

Barry Roux, the renowned South African legal representative who served as the defence advocate in the trial of Oscar Pistorius, will be the keynote speaker.

 

Guest speakers include Judge Lebotsang Bosieloof the South African Supreme Court of Appeal. Prof Caroline Nicholson and Prof Teuns Verschoor are to represent our Law Faculty as Dean and Lecturer, respectively.

 

In 2014, when Lindokuhle Ntuli occupied the Legal and Constitutional Affairs office within the Student Representative Council (SRC), the concept of this Judicial Branch of Student Governance was conceived.

 

“I established the Student Court because I strongly believed that we needed a student forum, beyond the University’s Disciplinary Committee,” said Lindokuhle. He added that such a forum allows for dealing with disputes between students and testing the validity of the Student Court’s constitution and the regulations of the university.

 

The Student Court’s aim is to administer justice according to these documents. It intervenes in decision-making matters between students, associations, or any part of the student body, at a student level. Other functions of this legal body involve regulating irresponsibly behaviour among students in order to uphold the integrity of the University of the Free State.

 

You are invited to the launch event:

 

Friday 21 August 2015

17:00

Economic and Management Sciences Auditorium (EBW), Bloemfontein Campus

 

For more information contact Lindokuhle Ntuli on 051 401 2082 or ntuliL@ufs.ac.za

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