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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

Odeion School of Music launches new Organ Chair
2015-09-16



Liesbeth Schlumberger-Kurpershoek

The Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the University of the Free State (UFS) has become the first in the country to launch an Organ Chair, named after seasoned international organist Liesbeth Schlumberger-Kurpershoek.

Over the last two decades South African has seen a decline in organ student numbers. The School of Music has taken the initiative by deploying experts and instructors to coach and mentor OSM students, in an effort to increase their chances of excelling in the international music scene.

The Organ Chair is an entity of the International Artistic Mentorship Programme (IAMP), which aims to establish partnerships between successful international musicians and OSM students. It is within this context that the OSM decided to launch the institutionalisation of an Organ Chair in a programme scheduled to take place from 8 -13 September 2015 in the Bloemfontein Campus and in surrounding areas.

Meet the expert

Liesbeth Schlumberger-Kurpershoek is a French-South African organist and pedagogue, who is well versed in the music profession. This bodes well for our university’s music students.  Initially educated by the great Stephanus Zondagh at the University of Pretoria while still a school pupil, Liesbeth’s passion for music has soared to great height since then.

Some of her accolades include winning the prestigious SABC Music Prize in 1985, and the International Organ Competition held in Bordeaux in 1989.

Liesbeth has worked with distinguished organists at the France Conservatoire National de Ruiel-Malmaison, the Conservatoire National de Région, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, and is the organist at Reformed Church of Etoile in Paris. In 2010, she was an adjudicator at the Chartres International Organ Competition, one of the most prestigious of its kind in the organ world.

This active recitalist and masterclass pedagogue facilitated classes attended by master students from Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Potchestroom, and workshops as part of launching the Liesbeth Schlumberger-Kurpershoek OSM Organ Chair.

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