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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

Academic and security arrangements on the Bloemfontein and South Campuses for the coming week
2016-02-28

All academic and administrative services on the Bloemfontein and South Campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS) will resume on Monday 29 February 2016.

The following academic and security arrangements have been put in place:

1.    Academic arrangements:

It is important to remember that losing an academic week has major implications for all students, particularly for first-year students, and for purposes of academic planning. The university will therefore resume its normal work on Monday 29 February 2016. Losing any additional time will severely disadvantage students, especially those who desperately need the time to catch up with lectures ahead of the coming tests and examinations. Many more students will struggle to complete the academic year if any further time is lost.

In order to ensure that the academic work of the university is not undermined, the UFS will extend this academic term by one week.
This will allow the completion of the work scheduled for last week. Given the impact that disruptions had on the emotions and concentration of many of our students, academics are requested to manage the setting and re-setting of all tests and assignments scheduled for last week with sensitivity, and to be supportive of students as they re-start their academic work.  No student should be disadvantaged in terms of tests or assignments as a result of last week’s closure. We know you would do this anyway, but this is a reminder to all staff of what we expect to be a common approach and understanding on the part of lecturers.

We rely on the leadership of the deans in the seven faculties to support staff and students in dealing with the lost time in the most appropriate manner and in supporting all efforts to refocus energies on the academic project.

As the senior leadership and management of the university, we will continue to do everything in our power to make sure that the academic programme continues uninterrupted.

2.    Security arrangements:
The Bloemfontein Campus is secure and we have more than doubled the security arrangements, with the interdict firmly in place.

The university management condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence that took place at Xerox Shimla Park on the night of Monday 22 February 2016. It also condemns the disruptions of the university that followed Monday’s event, which resulted in the suspension of academic and administrative activities on the Bloemfontein Campus. In line with the terms of the interdict - and now that we are at full capacity to secure this very large and spread-out campus - the university will act swiftly and firmly if any protests or disruption recur.

The following security arrangements are in place:
2.1  Staff and students must have their staff and student cards with them when entering the campus. Passengers in motor vehicles will have to present their cards to security personnel before access could be granted. Security personnel will check this physically by verifying that each person has a valid staff or student card.

2.2  Buses will not be allowed to enter the campus and passengers will have to be dropped off outside the gates - passengers will enter through the turnstiles with their valid access cards. Anyone without a valid access card will have to go to the Visitors Centre and present positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

2.3  Pedestrians will have to swipe their cards at the turnstiles at the gates. Those without cards will have to enter through the Visitors Centre by presenting positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

2.4  Visitors must report to the Visitors Centre (at Gate 5 in DF Malherbe Drive) and present positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

2.5  Due to anticipated delays, it is advised that people allow some additional time when planning their routes to campus and to also make use of the less busy gates, such as Gate 4 (Furstenburg Road) and Gate 2 (Roosmaryn Residence).

2.6  It is advised that walkways be used, especially at night, and that pedestrians should keep to areas that are well lit.

Security helpline: +27(0)51 401 2911 | +27(0)51 401 2634.
 

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