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

South Campus supplementary schools foster future Kovsies
2016-07-13

The Monyetla Bursary Project, in partnership with the University of the Free State (UFS) and other sponsors, presents an annual Winter School for Grade 12s on the South Campus. In addition, a Saturday school for Grade 12s has been in operation since 2007.

 “Champion teachers
in the district
assist learners”

Chris Grobler, a science teacher at Navalsig High School in Bloemfontein, is the organiser of both schools. He says, “I saw it as a tragic state of affairs that those offering bursaries and the bright learners from our formerly disadvantaged schools were not meeting up with each other.”

The first year saw 300 learners attending, with five subjects being presented. This tally has since grown to 650 learners each Saturday, with 11 subjects being presented, including Business Studies, Computer Applications Technology (CAT), Geography, Maths, and English.

“Our vision was to get champion teachers in the district to assist learners to qualify for university bursaries,” says Grobler. The project has succeeded in attracting educators with extensive experience as chief markers or even subject advisors in the Department of Education.

Description: Winter school  Tags: Winter school

Roald Rautenbach presents the Computer Applications
Technology (CAT) class while Peet Jacobs interprets in SASL.
Video recordings are also made for later distribution.

Photo: Eugene Seegers

Wider reach

“This year, the 1 200 learners at the Winter School hail not only from the Free State but also from as far as North-West, Gauteng, and the Eastern Cape.” Grobler says, “We are very pleased about this, as it means that the image of the UFS is being carried further afield.”

Lesego Modisele, one of the visiting learners from Parys, says, “I like how they brought in teachers that are heads of their subjects, who are very experienced and help us a lot. They explain how exam papers are set and which important things to focus on.”

By means of the Schools Partnership Programme (SPP), 250 learners from Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo have also been assisted. Katleho Setloho, who was one of these students, is currently a medical student at the UFS.

A special feature included in this year’s programme is interpreting services in South African Sign Language (SASL) for Deaf students. As an added bonus, a disc of the sessions in SASL is being compiled for English, Mathematics, and CAT, with plans for it to be distributed to the deaf community in the rest of South Africa via the UFS.

 

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