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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

In search of the new Kovsie CyberSta: The Top Five
2017-05-02

Description: Reuben Davids, FaceOfFacebook Tags: Reuben Davids, FaceOfFacebook

Reuben Davids, outgoing #FaceOfFacebook ambassador
for UFS digital channels
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Do you want to have a say in who becomes the next #KovsieCyberSta? This newly facelifted competition provides the opportunity for not one, but two Kovsie students to live out their dreams in front of the camera. The two winning candidates, as voted by you, our discerning viewers, will be used on all UFS digital channels.

Our top five contestants have been selected, and you can now vote for them on Instagram. The two videos with the most likes on the UFS Instagram page will be declared the winners. Terms and conditions apply.

The top five are (in the order in which their videos were submitted):

  1. Tammy-Jane Fray: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTgh-A2hwrS
  2. Ay-muu Mathebula: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTgiV1KBKwJ
  3. Lindelani Jones Nomnganga: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTkzs51BfeA
  4. Thulaganyo (Thuli) Molebalwa: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTk0GaNhmJg
  5. Georgina Phumeza Mhlahlo: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTk0aQghiSe

The fine print

  1. The finalists’ videos have been reposted on the @ufsuv Instagram account
  2. Vote for your favourite candidate by liking their post on this account. Only likes on the @ufsuv Instagram timeline will be used to determine the winners
  3. Each like will count as a vote, and the person with the most votes at the closing time will be declared the winner
  4. You will need to be a registered Instagram user to vote
  5. We have a panel of four judges who will also select their favourite two entries. Their votes will be added to the total likes on the closing day
  6. The deadline for voting is 12 May 2017 at 12:00
  7. The two winners will be announced on the afternoon of 12 May 2017, and they will feature in their first video during the Bloemfontein Campus Open Day on 13 May 2017

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