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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

Three netball players in USSA Dream Team
2016-07-26

Description: UFS netball team Tags: UFS netball team

Alicia Puren and the UFS netball team lost 43-44 against
the Pukke in the USSA semi-finals in Cape Town.
Photo: Johan Roux

Although they could not improve on 2015’s second place, the Kovsies were still rewarded. After the USSA tournament, held from 4 to 8 July 2016 in Cape Town, three netball players from the University of the Free State (UFS) were included in the Dream Team. They were the captain Tanya Mostert, vice-captain Khomotso Mamburu, and Alicia Puren.

Mostert and her team had to settle for third place, after losing narrowly to Pukke 43-44 in a semi-final. They beat Maties 45-42 to win the bronze medal. Earlier, they had outplayed the University of Johannesburg (64-38) and Pukke (59-40), but lost against Tuks 48-49.

Women’s hockey team finish fourth

The UFS women’s hockey team had to settle for the fourth place at the USSA tournament in Johannesburg after they lost to Maties 2-4 in the match for the third place.

The UFS men’s team was sixth overall in the City of Gold.

Shimlas suffer several narrow defeats

After a number of narrow defeats, the Shimlas unfortunately only managed one USSA victory in East London, ending fifth overall. They lost against Maties (29-31) and Pukke (29-31), but beat Ikeys (25-0).

UFS squash team won B Division

Maryke Coetzee from Kovsies won the individual competition in the women’s B Division at the USSA squash tournament in Stellenbosch. The UFS was the overall winner in Division B.

The Kovsie women’s basketball team finished sixth at the USSA tournament in Johannesburg, with the men in the 13th place.

  • The UFS did not send badminton and volleyball teams, as planned, to Stellenbosch and Pretoria, respectively.

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