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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

Meet our Council: Loraine Roux – a proud Kovsie ambassador
2016-07-01

“I strive to represent the alumni
actively as an interest group,
and to help build the university
through sound business principles.”

Loraine Roux (née Kriek), former President of the Student Representative Council, was elected to the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2012. This former Kovsie made her mark at the UFS. Many staff members and former students will remember her as the beautiful brainbox, who achieved success in so many different areas of student life and humanity.

Loraine’s studies


Her journey as a Kovsie started as finalist in the prestigious Matriculant of the Year competition. Later, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Science at the UFS. Loraine, a born leader, was also Prime of Soetdoring residence, and remains the only student in the history of the university to be chosen as SRC President, Rag Queen, and Dux student in the same year.

After university

The Kriek family are all stalwart former Kovsies, with three generations – Loraine, her late grandfather Johan Kriek, and godparents, Rhyno and Mariette Kriek – having served on the Student Representative Council. So, it is no surprise that a leading firm like Deloitte & Touche noticed Loraine’s unique talent and leadership skills, and snatched her up for their CEO Bootcamp immediately after university.

Serving on the UFS Council


Currently, she is part of the team that is extending Deloitte & Touche’s ethical and fraud prevention services across Africa and Europe. She also uses her expertise and experience in risk management, ethical practice, and good corporate governance for her role as UFS councillor. As part of her duties as Alumni representative in the Council, she serves on the Naming Committee, as well as on the Audit and Risk Committee.

“It is a great privilege for me to serve on the Council, but it is also a great responsibility,” she says. “I strive to represent the alumni actively as an interest group, and to help build the university through sound business principles.”

Loraine married Gabriel Roux in 2014, and the couple live in Stellenbosch.

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