Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
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

International delegates attend SACOMM conference at UFS
2016-10-12

Description: SACOMM conference  Tags: SACOMM conference

From the left: Prof Colin Chasi, Chairperson of the
South African Communications Association,
Dr Dalme Mulder UFS Lecturer; Dr Wilmien Marais,
UFS Lecturer; Prof Johann de Wet, former head of
UFS Department of Communication Science
Prof Tom O’Regan, University of Queensland (Australia)
and Prof Milli Rivera, Head of the UFS Department of
Communication Science during the conference on the
UFS Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Communication from within and below: Social Transformation and Inclusiveness. That was the theme of the 2016 South African Communication Association (SACOMM) conference, hosted at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) from 3 to 5 October 2016.

“Through this theme, participants were invited to submit papers that examined the role of communication in today’s tumultuous climate,” said Prof Mili Rivera, Head of the Department of Communication Science at the UFS.

A total of 140 delegates from other South African universities, as well as international delegates from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia attended the conference. It was the second time in ten years that the UFS hosted the conference.

Organisation to mentor and support emerging scholars
Various staff members and students from the UFS Department of Communication Science presented papers during the three days.

Annette van Baalen and Dr Dalme Mulder, both lecturers in the department, won the best paper award in the Corporate Communication division. A number of emerging scholars also presented papers. “The organisation is committed to mentoring and supporting emerging scholars in the field of Communication Science,” said Prof Rivera.

Association must be agent of change in curriculum
Delegates discussed the role of the organisation (SACOMM) as an agent of change in terms of decolonising the curriculum. The focus was on training journalists to cover crises in a fair and balanced manner. The book The Art of Persuasive Communication - A Process (4th Edition) by Prof Johann de Wet, former head of the UFS Department of Communication Science, was also launched during the conference.

The next SACOMM conference will take place at Rhodes University in 2017.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept