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25 April 2019 | Story Mamosa Makaya

Since 2016, the University of the Free State Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has received a grant from First National Bank worth R2 498 000, which supports tertiary bursaries for students with disabilities. Bursary holders are funded through CUADS, as the administrator of the bursaries.
  
These are students enrolled for various academic programmes who require academic assistance and/or assistive devices such as electronic handheld magnifiers, laptops, and hearing aids. The FNB grant also covers tuition, accommodation, study material and books, and meals.  The success of the grant is already evident, with one of the recipients having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in December 2018. A second student was capped at the April 2019 graduations with a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying.
 
Supporting the principles of the ITP

The UFS received the grant from FNB in instalments, starting in the 2016 academic year to date, supporting the needs of 40 disabled students. This grant and the work of CUADS speaks to and supports the principles of the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP), namely inclusivity, transformation, and diversity. The vision of the Universal Access work stream is to enable the UFS to create an environment where students with disabilities can experience all aspects of student life equal to their non-disabled peers. The ITP provides for the recognition of the rights of people with disabilities as an important lesson in social justice and an opportunity to reinforce university values.

The successful administration of the grant to benefit past and present students is a ‘feather in the cap’ of CUADS, and is a shining example of the impact of public private investment and the endless possibilities that open up when there is a commitment to developing future leaders in academic spaces, allowing them to thrive by creating a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering. 



News Archive

Palestinian Ambassador discusses future collaboration in education and development with UFS
2017-06-08

Description: Palestinian Ambassador  Tags: Palestinian Ambassador

From the left:  Chevon Jacobs (Office of International Affairs),
Ambassador Hashem Dajani, Prof Francis Petersen,
Chargé d’Affaires Bassam Elhussiny, and
Kanego Mokgosi (Office of International Affairs).
Photo: Eugene Seegers

Palestine’s Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency Hashem Dajani, paid a courtesy call to Prof Francis Petersen on 30 May 2017 at the Bloemfontein Campus. Ambassador Dajani was accompanied by Chargé d’Affaires Bassam Elhussiny to congratulate Prof Petersen on his appointment as Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS).

The diplomatic visit entailed discussions of possible collaborative initiatives between the UFS and universities in Palestine in areas such as student exchanges, capacity building and development, and research.

Diplomacy in action - a tool for internationalisation
The UFS has in the past hosted the Palestinian delegation on public engagements held with the university community, including students and the Institute of Reconciliation and Social Justice, to showcase the socio-political situation in Palestine through the use of film and panel discussions. 

The UFS has built strong networks with other foreign diplomatic missions in the country which have yielded interaction between diplomats and institutes, students and academics on the Bloemfontein Campus. These collaborations are an important tool for success of the broader university’s strategy of internationalisation.

It is through the visit of Ambassador Dajani that the university and the Office of International Affairs hopes to create firm, future strategic collaborations with Palestinian universities,  academics and students.

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