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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

Department at the UFS receives special visitors
2008-02-26

 

From the left are: Prof. Hans Ausloos, Prof. Bénédicte Lemmelijn, and Prof. Fanie Snyman (Head of the Department of Old Testament at the UFS). Both Prof. Ausloos and Prof. Lemmelijn are professors in the Old Testament within the Bible Science Investigation Unit of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.
Photo: Lacea Loader
 

Department at the UFS receives special visitors

The Department of Old Testament in the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS) has for the first time received a visit from two guest professors from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU) in Belgium who are presenting undergraduate lectures.

What makes the visit even further unique is that the guest professors are a married couple who specialise in the Old Testament.

“Proff. Hans Ausloos and Bénédicte Lemmelijn are visiting the faculty for about a month to present undergraduate programmes. They are part of a co-operative agreement between the UFS and the KU Leuven. This is also a good way of giving our students exposure to European experts,” says Prof. Snyman, Head of the Department of Old Testament at the UFS.

The couple and their three children, Matthias (10), Elke (8) and Ruben (6), are staying in Prof. Daan Pienaar’s house for the duration of their stay. Prof. Pienaar is a retired professor in Biblical Science at the UFS. The children are at school in Universitas Primary School for the duration of the family’s stay in Bloemfontein. “The headmaster was very kind and provided them with school uniforms out of the school’s second hand clothing shop, of which they will not part easily as they do not wear school uniform in Belgium,” says Prof. Lemmelijn.

Proff. Lemmelijn and Ausloos cannot stop talking about the charm of the university’s Main Campus. “In Leuven the university is part of the city and the university buildings are situated amongst the city buildings. We do our shopping while the students move from one class to the other! Here, the university is a town on its own and the students are given the opportunity to socialise in a protected environment,” says Prof. Lemmelijn.

The couple is also just as impressed with Bloemfontein. “The safety issue in South Africa is accentuated in such a way in Europe that we are astounded by the peaceful and friendly atmosphere of the city. We are also surprised with the shopping centres that are under one roof. In Belgium the shops are situated far apart,” says Prof. Lemmelijn.

The couple finds the living costs – especially food – to be quite expensive. “Some basic food is even more expensive than it is in Belgium,” says Prof. Ausloos.

Over and above their commitment to lecture, the couple is also busy with research on the Greek translation of the 12 Small Prophets in co-operation with Prof. Snyman.

“This is the first time that lecturers from the KU Leuven visit the Department of Old Testament for such a long time and are part of the normal curriculum. It is interesting to note that the teaching modules between the two departments resemble each other in such a way that lectures which are presented in Leuven are also repeated here,” says Prof. Snyman.

Both Proff. Ausloos and Lemmelijn are professors in the Old Testament within the Bible Science Investigation Unit of the KU Leuven. They publish articles internationally on the editorial and text criticism of the Old Testament and are involved with international investigative programmes such as the Hexapla Project and Septuaginta-Deutsch. Prof. Ausloos is director of the Leuvense Centre for Septuagint Studies and Textual Criticism and Prof. Lemmelijn is an associate in the centre. Together they have published several financed investigative projects on the characterising of the translation technique of the Greek Bible translation.

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  
25 February 2008
 

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