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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

Academic appointed Editor-in-Chief of leading accredited History journal in South Africa
2017-02-15

Description: Dr Jared McDonald Tags: Dr Jared McDonald

Dr Jared McDonald, newly-appointed Editor-in-Chief
of Historia.
Photo: Thabo Kessah


The research profile of the Qwaqwa Campus has recently received a boost with the appointment of Dr Jared McDonald as the Editor-in-Chief of Historia, one of the leading accredited History journals in South Africa. It publishes articles in May and November on aspects of history and historiography of the Southern African region and is published by the Historical Association of South Africa (HASA).

Dr McDonald said it was an honour for him to be appointed in such a position, as it would enable him to further encourage critical engagement of historians. “I have served as the journal’s Review Editor for the past four years, so I am incredibly grateful for this appointment which will further enable historians to engage with one another as well as with scholars from other disciplines interested in grappling with the past,” he said.

Delivery of quality research to be strengthened
“My role will be to deepen the legacy of presenting historical themes to the broader public and the academic community, as well as enabling the delivery of quality research, while also strengthening Historia’s profile as a journal of choice for historians and scholars from related disciplines. In fact, having the editorship of such a journal based on the Qwaqwa Campus, is a welcome accolade for the campus,” he added.
Dr McDonald is Subject Head in the Department of History.

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