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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

Shimlas had the right attitude, says Scholtz
2016-02-10

 Description: Shimlas first match 2016  Tags: Shimlas

The lively Shimla flanker Daniel Maartens, who was the leading try scorer in the 2015 Varsity Cup, made a good impact as substitute against Ikeys in Cape Town.
Photo: Johan Roux

His rugby team had the right attitude to win in difficult conditions in Cape Town.

This is what Hendro Scholtz, Head Coach of Shimlas, had to say after the University of the Free State (UFS) started its Varsity Cup campaign on 8 February 2016 with a victory of 23-17 over Ikeys.

According to him, the UFS had to sweat hard until the end on a windy Green Mile, which has been the downfall of many opponents before. His substitutes also had a great impact.

Troublesome Cape wind

Shimlas have a tough draw this year, and to start in the Mother City was a huge task. Scholtz and his men have only three home matches and will play against most of the major teams in away matches.

“We knew it would be difficult in Cape Town. With the wind blowing as it does, one can't play as you would like to during the rest of the season,” the coach said.

“The guys had a will to win.”

The former Springbok believes that too much cannot be read from the first round results. The Shimlas will play their second match on 15 February 2016 against Tuks in Pretoria.

Replacements with good impact

Only the prop Rudolph Botha, flanker Fiffy Rampeta, and prop Teunis Nieuwoudt, who started against Ikeys, were involved in the 2015 final against Pukke.

Other big Shimla names, such as the prop Ox Nche, hooker Elandré Huggett, prop Conraad van Vuuren, and flanker Daniel Maartens, were sent onto the field in Cape Town after half-time.

“We had a plan with the replacements for the second half. They made a huge difference,” Scholtz said.

Rampeta was named Man of the Match, but it was Maartens and Co who turned the game in their team's favour in the second half.

Matsoele could be out of action for long

The Shimla fullback, Sechaba Matsoele, had to leave the game against Ikeys early because of a knee injury, and could be out of action for some time.

His scrumhalf, Zee Mkhabela, was also injured (by a blow to the head), so Shimlas will have to keep their fingers crossed for his quick recovery.

Scorers:
Shimlas 23 (7): Tries: Arthur Williams, Nardus Erasmus, Mosolwa Mafuma. Conversions: Stephan Janse van Rensburg (2).
Ikeys 17 (0): Tries: Khanyo Ngcukana, Nathan Nel. Conversion: Hilio de Abreu. Penalty: De Abreu.
Other results (home team first): Tuks 15, Pukke 38; UJ 19, Madibaz 12; Maties 40, CUT 0.

 

 

 

 


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