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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

Social cohesion tops the agenda at arts week
2015-08-31


What’s the Difference deur Tanya Britz
Photo: Lelanie de Wet

Launching the annual Arts 4 Social Justice (A4SJ) week, taking place from 12-19 August 2015 at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) the Bloemfontein Campus was alive with artworks placed in various buildings and open spaces.

Angelo Mockie said, “This is an opportunity to share knowledge.” Mockie is the coordinator of the annual Arts 4 Social Justice week which gives artists a platform to convey their experiences, and engage students and the public on social issues of national significance.


Meaningful Places deur Adelheid von Maltitz, bygestaan deur Nicolene Jonker en Xoliswa Msimango
Photo: Michelle Nothling

Coinciding with the week’s events, the IRSJ launched the National Flagship Project in the Visual Arts, funded by the National Arts Council. The theme of the project is ‘Emancipating the African voice in the visual arts for social cohesion purposes’. According to Mockie, “this endeavour is crucial to confronting the histories, policies, and practices that have shaped and constrained the intellectual and social mandates of higher education institutions.”

Adelheid von Maltitz, Klas Thibeletsa, Richard Bollers, and Jaco Spies were some of the artists exhibiting their creative work. A host of students from the university’s Fine Arts Department also presented their works across the campus.

The focus on social justice aims to inspire audiences toward developing engaged citizenship and cohesive communities.

 



What’s the Difference deur Tanya Britz
Photo: Michelle Nothling


History is the Required Process by Motseokae Klas Thibeletsa

 

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