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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

Research conducted on economic impact of recent international soccer and rugby matches for Bloemfontein
2004-09-09

The Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently conducted a survey on the economic impact of the international soccer and rugby games that were played in Bloemfontein earlier this year.

The research focused on the soccer match between Bafana Bafana and the Cape Verdic Isle and the rugby match between the Springboks and Ireland .

“The survey was done as a result of a research agenda about local economic development in Bloemfontein ,” said Dr Lochner Marais, researcher at the centre.

“We conducted the research by doing 402 interviews with soccer supporters and 376 interviews with rugby supporters from outside Bloemfontein ,” said Dr Marais.

The centre distributed questionnaires, collecting the following information on the soccer and rugby supporters: their age, gender and origin, the number of nights spend in Bloemfontein , their household expenditure in Bloemfontein and their rating on the quality of service.

“It is estimated that 10 800 soccer supporters and 27 000 rugby supporters came from outside Bloemfontein . Of the rugby supporters 14,4% were female and 85,6% were men. For the soccer international the percentage was 33% females and 67% males,” said Dr Marais.

The highest number of people who came to watch the soccer game in Bloemfontein (35,8%) was from the Northern Free State . The rugby supporters mainly came from Gauteng (21,8%) and the Northern Free State (18%).

When visiting Bloemfontein soccer supporters spend R912 per household, whilst rugby supporters reached deeper in their pockets and spent R1 807 per household.

“The survey indicated that the two international matches resulted in approximately R58 million been spent in Bloemfontein . Rugby supporters were accountable for the largest part (R48 787 205) spent. The largest chunk of the money spent was on accommodation (R14 593 279). On average soccer and rugby supporters from outside Bloemfontein spent 1,4 and 1,9 nights in Bloemfontein ,” said Dr Marais.

Rugby and soccer supporters were also asked to rate the quality of service received from amongst others hotels, guest houses, restaurants, and transport and entertainment facilities. Soccer supporters rated their satisfaction with services higher as rugby supporters. The rugby supporters gave the services at hotels a 3,9 rating, whilst soccer supporters awarded 4,6 rating out of a possible five.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
9 September 2004
 

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