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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

Dr Johann Rossouw receives 2015 ATKV SA Academy Award for his work in Philosophy
2015-12-18

Description: Dr Johann Rossouw  Tags: Dr Johann Rossouw

Dr Johann Rossouw

Dr Johann Rossouw, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Free State, was recently selected as one on the winners of the 2015 ATKV SA (Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging) Academy Awards. Dr Rossouw was one of only six winners that were honoured nationwide for their academic articles.

ATKV SA Academy Award

This award has immense value for Dr Rossouw, since “it’s proof that original endemic thinking is still valid today, despite the massive pressure on Afrikaans. It also undermines the parochial view that English is the only language in which thought takes place.”

The annual ATKV SA Academy Awards honours six Afrikaans articles that are published in accredited journals in a specific year. Four of the prizes are awarded for articles in the Humanities and two for articles in the Natural Sciences. The South African Academy for Science and Arts handled the selection process.

First theological-philosophical criticism on Stiegler

Dr Rossouw was honoured for two articles in the Humanities that were published on Litnet Academic. The articles deal with the theological-philosophical approaches of the first two volumes of Bernard Stiegler's influential La Technique et letemps (Technics and Time) trilogy. “Stiegler wrote the trilogy in conversation with Heidegger's Being and Time,” Dr Rossouw says. “With Heidegger claiming that the technique closes off our world, Stiegler argues that the technique helps to unlock and establish our world as a unique kind of memory in certain conditions. That is why Stiegler argues that the technique is the life lived through other means than life itself.”

The essence of Dr Rossouw's criticism against Stiegler is that he “pursues Christianity through means other than Christianity itself. To my knowledge, this is the first theological-philosophical criticism on Stiegler, and to all intents and purposes the first criticism on his work, with one or two exceptions.”

 

 

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