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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

Science-for-the-Future host learners at Boyden Observatory
2017-06-15

Description: Science-for-the-Future  Tags: Science-for-the-Future

Prof Jan Smit from the North-West University captivated
the learners with his presentation.
Photo: Supplied

In order to advance innovative Mathematics and Science teaching and learning, Science-for-the-Future from the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Faculty of Education hosted close to 100 Grade 10 Mathematics and Science achievers from 18 local secondary schools at the Boyden Observatory in Bloemfontein on 7 June 2017.

According to Dr Cobus van Breda, the Programme Director of Science-for-the-Future, the purpose of such events is also “to encourage learners to enter into science-related studies and careers, including the teaching profession, since we are in desperate need of good Maths and Science teachers in South Africa”.

The evening included contributions by two visiting National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) award-winning presenters.

Prof Peter Dunsby from the Cosmology and Gravity Centre at the University of Cape Town gave the audience much to think about with his presentation titled ‘From the Big Bang to the Big Rip. Should we be afraid of the Dark Side of the Universe?’

Prof Jan Smit from the North-West University, on the other hand, explained basic Physics concepts using mostly household items. Mariette Erwee and Prof Matie Hoffman from the UFS concluded the evening with stargazing through the telescopes, as well as an open-air session on constellations.

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