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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

Alumni to be honoured once again for outstanding achievements
2016-09-05

Description: Alumni to be honoured  Tags: Alumni to be honoured

Adv Roelf Meyer won the Chancellor’s
Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015.

Alumni are a source of pride for the University of the Free State and their work in all spheres of society is recognised and celebrated. The UFS Alumni Office invites nominations for outstanding alumni for achievements attained in both their personal capacity and professional fields, for the Kovsie Alumni Awards in the following categories:

* The Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award is the highest honour accorded to an alumnus. This award recognises the distinguished achievements of its recipient (both professionally and personally) on a national or international scale.

* The Young Alumnus of the Year Award aims to recognise and celebrate the achievements of alumni who have graduated within the past decade.

* The Cum Laude Award is bestowed upon an alumnus to recognise excellence in any field.

* The Executive Management Award is made to any person (not necessarily an alumnus) who has delivered exceptional service to the university.

The Kovsie Ambassador Award is bestowed upon an individual whose achievements have brought distinction to him/her, benefited his/her community and brought credit to the University of the Free State

Nominations can be submitted in writing to the Alumni Office at alumni@ufs.ac.za using the provided nomination form. The nominee’s qualification and the year in which it was obtained at the UFS must be clearly indicated on the nomination form. In addition, a comprehensive CV of the nominee (including his/her achievements) must accompany each form. A selection panel will choose the outstanding candidate(s) with age, race and gender playing no role in the selection process. The closing date for submission of nominations is 12:00 on 30 September 2016.

In 2015, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Adv Roelf Meyer at a luncheon held on 29 August. This year, the awards will be presented at a gala banquet on Saturday, 5 November.

Some of the previous winners include well known personalities such as: Leon Schuster, Cum Laude Award recipient, 1992; Dr Sheila Aronstam, Jewish historian, Kovsie Alumnus of the Year, 2013; Tate Makgoe, MEC for Education in the Free State, Alumni Cum Laude Award winner 2013; and Judge Violet Phatshoane, Judge of the Northern Cape High Court, Kovsie Alumni Award winner of 2014.

For inquiries, contact Helen Namponya on +27 051 401 9343, or by e-mail at alumni@ufs.ac.za.

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