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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

UFS first tertiary institution in SA to form association with the Arbinger Institute
2008-02-15

 

 A two-day seminar entitled: "The Choice and The Choice @ Work" was recently presented in Bloemfontein to companies in the Free State region. Here are, from the left: Mr Braam Botha (Well @ Work), Mr Jozef Myburgh (Telkom), and Dr Cobus Pienaar (from the Department of Industrial Psychology at the UFS and facilitator of the Arbinger Programme).
Photo: Lacea Loader

 

UFS first tertiary institution in SA to form association with the Arbinger Institute

The University of the Free State (UFS) has become the first tertiary institution in the country to form an association with the Arbinger Institute in the United States of America (USA).

“The Arbinger Institute is a global management training and consulting firm applying the implications of self-deception and its solutions to all aspects of organisational performance. Our association with this Institute is a major step for the development of leadership in the country,” says Mr Danie Jacobs, Head of the Centre for Business Dynamics at the UFS.

Dr Cobus Pienaar, from the Department of Industrial Psychology at the UFS, is currently the only licensed facilitator to present Arbinger’s work in South Africa. Dr Pienaar presents The Choice and The Choice @ Work programme on behalf of the Centre for Business Dynamics, under the banner of the UFS School of Business.

According to Mr Jacobs, the programme has already had successes in South Africa. “Dr Pienaar presented the first programme last year in Bloemfontein and Pretoria to leaders from various companies. The feedback on the application of the programme to the South African business environment was phenomenal,” says Mr Jacobs.

The Arbinger Institute’s change work grows out of the scholarly work of philosopher Terry Warner. With an international team of scholars, Warner has broken new ground in solving the age-old problem of self-deception, or what was originally called “resistance”.

“This phenomenon is at the heart of much organisational failure. It is the reason why many organisational problems seem so intractable at their core – they are in self-deception; they resist solution,” says Mr Jacobs.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
15 February 2008

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