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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 shock Tuks by staying calm
2016-02-19

Description: KL News 2016 02 19  Varsitycup Tags: KL News 2016 02 19  Varsitycup
Prop Ox Nche was one of the substitutes who had a huge impact against Tuks in Pretoria on 15 February 2016. Nche and other Shimlas substitutes helped their team wipe out a massive deficit. Photo: Johan Roux.

He has never been involved in a match like this in his rugby career.
This is what Neil Claassen had to say about his team’s performance on 15 February 2016, when the Shimlas came up with one of the biggest fight-backs in the history of the Varsity Cup in Pretoria. According to the Shimlas Captain, his bench had a great impact, and this helped in shocking Tuks with 47-46 towards the end. This came after Tuks had been leading 43-15 in the 44th minute.

Great fighting spirit
The Shimlas' fighting spirit, and a new Varsity Cup points system in which converted tries may count up to 11 points, enabled them to wipe out this deficit.
“It was a tough match, especially after being so far behind,” Neil said.
“Coach (Hendro Scholtz) told us during half-time (when we were 15-36 behind) that we should stay calm."
“We weren't completely out of the game. We knew that if we eliminated unnecessary mistakes, we could make it.”

Impact from bench
This is the second consecutive match - the other was against Ikeys in Cape Town - where the Shimlas’ substitutes swayed the match. “The bench made a big difference,” Neil said. “We also scored an 11-point try, which helped a lot.”
The Shimlas’ fullback, Marco Mason, was named Player of the Match. He succeeded with a tricky conversion to gain victory for his team.

Injuries
The eighth man, Nardus Erasmus (knee) and flanker, Fiffy Rampeta (eye socket), sustained injuries, but should be able to play in the first home game against the Madibaz on 22 February 2016. The injured scrumhalf, Zee Mkhabela (concussion), could return for this match.
Shimlas are second on the log, with nine league points after two away matches. Maties has ten league points.

Young Guns get stuck
The University of the Free State (UFS') Young Guns got stuck 8-14 against Tuks in Pretoria on 15 February 2016.
Vishuis, the UFS's residence team, will start their onslaught in the residence league against Dagbreek in Stellenbosch on 22 February 2016.

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