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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

All activities on UFS Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses postponed until Monday 26 October 2015
2015-10-22

All academic and administrative activities on the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS) have been postponed until Monday 26 October 2015.

UFS students joined the national protests against the increases in class and study fees at universities across the country on Tuesday 20 October 2015.

All campuses of the UFS were closed down on Wednesday 21 October 2015 and a court interdict was granted the same day against conduct by anyone who intends to damage the property of the university or who interferes with the rights of others.

Additional security measures have been implemented at all residences on the Bloemfontein Campus today, and no acts of violence or intimidation have been reported in residences. The situation on the Bloemfontein Campus grounds is monitored carefully to ensure calmness.

Messages doing the round on social media today that management agreed to a 0% increase in fees in 2016 are not true. The university management are continuously communicating with the Student Representative Council (SRC), while working incessantly to restore peace and stability on the Bloemfontein Campus.

“Although the university management supports the right of students to protest, it has a responsibility towards the university community to ensure the safety of property and people, as well as the rights of other students who do not feel inclined to participate in this movement. The university management calls on non-protesting students to remain calm and to refrain from getting into any confrontation with protesting students. This is a trying time for universities across the country, and the main concern of the UFS management is to maintain stability on the campuses,” says Prof Nicky Morgan, Acting Rector of the UFS.

 “We are committed to working together as institution in finding viable solutions to the plight of poor students at our university. The university management is also committed to participate in national initiatives to revise the manner in which universities are funded,” says Prof Morgan.

Information about the predicates and upcoming exam will be shared with students on the various communication platforms of the university on Friday 23 October 2015. Students who had to write tests or exams, but could not do so due to the protest action, will not be prejudiced.

 
Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
news@ufs.ac.za
+27(0)51 401 3422
+27(0)83 645 2454


Facebook message from UFS SRC (26 October 2015)

UFS welcomes Pres Jacob Zuma’s statement about 0% increase in tuition fees for 2016 (23 October 2015)

UFS postpones examinations to Monday 2 November 2015 (23 October 2015)

Letter to students from Prof Jonathan Jansen about student protest actions at the UFS (22 October 2015)

UFS obtains court interdict against protesting students - classes will resume on 22 October 2015 (21 October 2015)

UFS management closes down all three campuses on 21 October 2015 (20 October 2015)

UFS responds to concerns around high costs of higher education (Letter from Prof Jonathan Jansen -19 October 2015)


 

 

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