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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

Two from UFS heading for Rio
2016-07-18

Description: Rynhardt_Rio Tags: Rynhardt_Rio

The 800 m athlete from the University of the
Free State, Rynhardt van Rensburg, will soon
take part in his first Olympic Games in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Photo: Varsity Sports / Wessel Oosthuizen

It is the cherry on top for any sportsman or sportswoman. This is what DB Prinsloo, Director of KovsieSport, has to say about two athletes from the University of the Free State (UFS) being included in the South African team for the Olympic Games.

He says the officials and coaches at KovsieSport are extremely proud of Rynhardt van Rensburg (800 m) and Wayde van Niekerk (400 m). Although they qualified earlier, their names were read out on 14 July 2016 as part of the team of 137 athletes that will participate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August.

In the footsteps of other UFS stars

They follow in the footsteps of former Kovsies like Leslé-Ann George (women’s hockey), Kate Roberts (triathlon), Johan Cronjé (1 500 m), and Frantz Kruger (discus), who represented South Africa at previous Olympics. Apart from these two, four former Kovsies were also included in the team for Rio. They are the Sevens Springbok Philip Snyman, Sevens coach Neil Powell, Chris Dednam as badminton coach and Roberts as team manager of the triathletes. Dednam also competed as a player at the Olympics. Ans Botha, the UFS sprint coach, will also accompany Van Niekerk.

“It is a highlight for any sportsman or sportswoman to be part of the Olympic Games. It is, for example, the same as it is for others to participate in a World Cup,” says Prinsloo.

Description: Wayde2_Rio Tags: Wayde2_Rio

Wayde van Niekerk

Van Niekerk shows mettle on birthday

Prinsloo is very happy for Van Rensburg, since the 24-year-old athlete has been injured for a long time and had to regain his form. On 24 June 2016, he won a bronze medal at the African Championships in Durban in a time of 1:46.15.

Prinsloo feels that Van Niekerk and Caster Semenya (800 m) are great contenders for medals in Rio. Van Niekerk, who celebrated his 24th birthday on 15 July 2016, continued his good preparation for the Olympics by trouncing his rivals on his birthday at a Diamond League event in Monaco in a time of in 44.12.

 

“It is a highlight for any sportsman or
sportswoman to be part of the Olympic Games.”










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