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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

Bursaries available for postgraduate studies
2016-09-19

Due to the current financial landscape in the higher education sector, the University of the Free State (UFS) has allocated funding for 130 honours degree bursaries, funds for research masters, and doctoral bursaries for studies in 2017.

The closing date for the honours bursaries is 19 December 2016.

Honours bursaries
All South African and international students, from any higher education institution, wishing to pursue their honours degree in 2017 can apply for the honours bursary. The funding is available for both full-time and part-time studies.

Applicants must have a minimum average of 65% in the third-year module in which they want to pursue an honours degree.

Students registering for a first honours degree in 2017 at the UFS will also be eligible for the university’s registration fee waiver. More information and frequently asked questions about the honours bursaries are available here.

Deliver your application form to Pinky Motlhabane at the Postgraduate School on the Bloemfontein Campus or submit it via email to motlhabanegk@ufs.ac.za.

Masters and doctoral bursaries

UFS has allocated funding for 130 honours
degree bursaries for studies in 2017.

Funding is available for the first three years for research masters students and the first four years for doctoral students. The masters and doctoral bursaries are open to all South African and international students. The funding is available for full-time and part-time studies.

Learn more about the masters and doctoral bursaries.

Postgraduate students can apply for the masters and doctoral bursaries at any time.

Other bursaries
UFS academic merit bursaries and other postgraduate funding opportunities are also available for postgraduate students.

•    Merit bursaries: The merit bursaries are available for honours, masters and doctoral studies.

•    Faculty awards: Various faculty awards are available to students who undertake postgraduate research degrees.

•    National Research Foundation (NRF): To apply, please visit the NRF website and follow the application process. Please note that NRF bursary applications will open again on 1 June 2017.

•   Independent awards: The UFS Bursaries and Scholarships Guide for Postgraduate Students provides a comprehensive list of these donors as well as information on the available opportunities and application procedures.

For more information about all bursaries, please contact Pinky Motlhabane at the Postgraduate School on +27 51 401 9635 or motlhabanegk@ufs.ac.za.

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