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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 waives application fees for studies in 2016
2015-10-22

The University of the Free State (UFS) has waived application fees for all prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students - nationally and internationally - who want to study at the institution in 2016.

"Universities charge application fees that vary in amount. With 25 universities in South Africa, this fee becomes a burden for students who want to apply to more than one university. The university leadership has also realised that tens of thousands of students who qualify for university entrance stumble at the first hurdle: finding the money to apply,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector.

According to Prof Jansen, the UFS would like to set an example and a challenge to all public universities to scrap the application fee, so that many more young people from poor communities can realise their dream of accessing higher education. At the same time, the universities will benefit from more top talent coming into higher learning. "The more students that enrol and graduate, the stronger the financial position of universities will be; it is a win-win policy, and the university leadership has done the maths on this," he says.
 
The application fees for 2016 were R235 for South African students and R500 for international students. Prospective students, who have already applied for admission in 2016, will not be refunded. However, students who have already registered successfully for 2016 may apply to have the application fee credited to their tuition fee account after they have registered next year.
 
To support this initiative, UFS Marketing will be conducting an on-site application campaign by visiting East London, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, Qwaqwa, Kathu, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Newcastle, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, and Ladysmith from 28 August 2015. Further details of the venues in each town will be available on the Kovsie2b Facebook page.

All prospective students currently doing their final-year undergraduate studies at either the UFS or any other university will also pay no registration fee if they want to continue with an Honours degree in 2016. The registration fee for 2016 was R950.
 
The closing date for applications for admission is 31 December 2015.

Apply for undergraduate or postgraduate studies at the UFS for 2016.

For enquiries, please call +27(0)51 401 9111.

 

 

 

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