Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries
2016-05-04

Description: Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries  Tags: Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries

The National Arts Council (NAC) has awarded R100 000 to 10 Drama students at the University of the Free State (UFS). Eight years after its establishment in 2005, the NAC has partnered our university in funding academically-deserving students needing assistance with tuition. To date, our undergraduate students have benefitted from more than R800 000.

Prof Nico Luwes, Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, who applies to the NAC at the end of each year on behalf of students, welcomes the funds: “Quite a lot of our students would not have been able to complete their studies without assistance from the bursary scheme.”

As a result of this financial injection, South African schools also gain. “Some students then enrol for a higher education diploma, and they then teach Arts and Culture at schools. Hence, there is a whole new generation of Arts and Culture teachers who are now entering the school system,” said Prof Luwes.

Mbuyiselo Nqodi, a second-year BA Drama and Theatre Arts student, would not have been able to enrol at the university in 2015, had it not been for the NAC.  “Without the bursary, I would not have been admitted into the university. It helped a lot because R10 000 can go a long way.”

Pursuing its mandate to support and develop South Africa’s arts, culture and heritage sector, the NAC awarded 117 bursaries to arts students and tertiary institutions for the year.  A total of R5 million has been allocated for 2016, a 10% increase on the previous financial year.

According to the NAC Chief Executive Officer, Rosemary Mangope, one of the aims of the NAC is to provide support to students who will contribute to the arts and culture industry in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept