Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
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

Digitising the Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT)
2017-02-06

Description: Digitising the Advanced Certificate in Teaching  Tags: Digitising the Advanced Certificate in Teaching

The 100% online ACT aims to help
teachers improve their qualifications.
More information is available at
http://www.ufs.ac.za/ACTonline.
Photo: Supplied


Online learning is fast becoming the most convenient and affordable way to study. In 2016, the South Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) became the first university in South Africa to launch a fully online course for current teachers to upgrade their qualifications; the Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT).

The IDEAS Lab digitisation team on our South Campus is responsible for converting the existing ACT modules from a blended format to a 100% online format. With this format all lessons and study material are available online, with no contact sessions required. The advantages of online, interactive learning far outweigh those of blended learning. Lessons are converted to videos online, which is not only more user-friendly, but students can also access the lessons repeatedly.

In addition, tutors are always available, with WhatsApp groups and the ACT Online Facebook page further facilitating the support provided. Discussions between or communication with students situated in remote areas is made possible, adding to an enriched student experience. Immediate feedback on activities serves as a diagnostic tool as well as motivation for the students.

Lesson videos are recorded at the IDEAS Lab Studio at the South Campus or onsite at various schools. Students are expected to complete a unit, which consists of two lessons, per week.
There are “think about your learning” activities after each lesson as well as “after readings” to ensure that students have grasped the material. In these and many other ways the online ACT is specifically designed to suit students’ unique needs and make their studies a satisfying and rewarding experience.

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