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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

Democracy and political tolerance truly thrive during Qwaqwa Campus SRC elections
2016-09-16

Description: 2017 SR Qwaqwa  Tags: 2017 SR Qwaqwa

The newly-elected SRC President of the Qwaqwa
Campus, Njabulo Mwali (left), being congratulated
by his predecessor, Paseka Sikhosana.
Ph
oto: Thabiso Gamede

Voter turnout during the recent SRC elections among the best in the country at over 60%

The 2016-2017 Qwaqwa Campus SRC elections have once again proven that democracy and political tolerance are truly thriving on the Qwaqwa Campus. This was evidenced by the calm surrounding the highly contested elections ever.

According to Mandla Ndlangamandla, Electoral Committee Chairperson, this year’s elections were highly contentious, yet with a high level of tolerance.

"We only had two political structures, namely the South African Democratic Student Movement (Sadesmo) and the South African Student Congress (Sasco), but the level of engagement was really commendable,” he said.

“Of the 4 200 registered students on campus, more than 2 500 cast their votes in their quest to influence student leadership and governance to advance student aspirations," said Ndlangamandla during the handover ceremony.

In accepting the leadership baton from his predecessor, Paseka Sikhosana, the new President, Njabulo Mwali, said his immediate goal was to unite all students behind the new leadership.

In acknowledging the role student governance can play in developing the campus, the Acting Campus Principal, Teboho Manchu, said the campus was proud to have a student leadership that would always keep the interests of their constituency on top of their agenda.

“We will definitely work hand-in-hand with the new student government. In case of any disagreements, please note that you have the right to take up any such matters with the top management of the university in order to advance the entire student body,” he added.

The 2016-2017 Qwaqwa Campus SRC is as follows:

LIST OF SRC MEMBERS 2016-2017

Elective Portfolios

 

Name and Surname

Portfolio

Njabulo Mwali

President General

Siyabonga Ngubo

Deputy President

Joy Mapule Motloung

Secretary General

Bongela Nyandeni

Treasurer General

Mpumelelo Tshabalala

Politics and Transformation

Nomcebo Mqushulu

Media and Publicity

Ntokozo Michael Masiteng

Student Development and Environmental Affairs

   

Ex Officio Portfolios

 

Khulani Mhlongo

Arts and Culture

Polaki Mazibuko

Academic Affairs

Ntokozo Mbali Thango

Sports Affairs

Motlatsi Lisley Lebona

Religious Affairs

Sandile Ntamane

Residence Affairs

Itumeleng Chefter

RAG Comm. and Dialogue

Thulebona Thomas Khumalo

Off-campus

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