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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

Students’ commitment the focus of architectural exhibition at Free State Arts Festival
2016-07-07

Description: Architectural exhibition  Tags: Architectural exhibition

The traveling exhibition of first-year architecture
students of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan
University consists of 400 exhibition pieces.

Photo: Supplied

A unique travelling exhibition of over 400 pieces will be hosted by the UFS Department of Architecture from 11-23 July 2016. The exhibition, a project of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) School of Architecture is the first exhibition of its kind on this scale.

First exhibition of its kind

The architect Boban Varghese, the head of the Department of Architecture at NMMU, said that a series of projects furthering academic engagements are being implemented under his leadership. This travelling exhibition of first-year architecture students is one of these.

The NMMU School of Architecture is engaged in addressing architectural education that is appropriate and relevant as it responds to the contextual challenges shaped by local and global issues.

Students’ work received recognition

Besides being recognition of student work, which is normally confined within the walls of the Schools of Architecture, the aim of the travelling exhibition is not only to introduce the work to students of other Architecture Schools and the architecture profession itself, but also to share the discipline of architecture with a wider public. In this sense, the exhibition is an educational and cultural event.

This important aspect is manifested in the generous support of the UFS Department of Architecture in sponsoring the second exhibition during the Free State Arts Festival, as a collaborative project between two Schools of Architecture. A third exhibition of the work is foreseen in Johannesburg during the annual Architecture Students Congress at Wits later this year.

432 pieces part of research programme

The exhibition PALLADIO AND THE MODERN
is the first exhibition of its kind of first-year
architecture students’ work in South Africa.

The exhibition entitled PALLADIO AND THE MODERN shows the first two projects of the first-year students when they have just arrived from school with little experience in architectural drawings and in building architectural models. Their dedicated commitment to the task of producing 288 drawings and 144 models - a total 432 exhibition pieces - forms part of a three-year research programme (2013-2015) in architectural composition conducted by the Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Ernst Struwig, Dr Magda Minguzzi and Jean-Pierre Basson. All the work exhibited is done by hand.

In the exhibition, the 36 villas of the Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), initiate a dialogue with the 36 houses of 20th and 21st international and national architects in their reciprocal theme of exploring the language of architecture.

Visiting hours: Monday to Friday 09:00-16:00
Exhibition closes on 23 July 2016

Sponsors:
Department of Architecture UFS; NMMU; Stauch Vorster Architects; The Matrix Urban Designers and Architects Cc; Adendorff Architects and Interiors Cc; NOH Architects; Thembela Architects (Pty) Ltd; Erik Voight Architects; DMV Architecture, MMK Architects; IMBONO F. J. A. Architects CC; dhk Architects; LYT Architecture; B4 Architects.

 

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