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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

UFS research project aims to stimulate reflection on theological studies
2017-06-20

Description: Book, Theology and post Apartheid condition  Tags: Book, Theology and post Apartheid condition

The first book in the ‘UFS Theological
Exploration’ academic series, called Theology
and the Post(Apartheid) Condition
, has just
been released.
Photo: Supplied

 

The first study book with the title Theology and the Post(Apartheid) Condition, which is part of a new academic series by the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of the Free State, is now available. Volume 1, compiled by Professor Rian Venter as editor, is the first book in the ‘UFS Theological Exploration’ academic series, which the faculty plans to release.

Transformation
Professor Venter says the transformation of processes and practices in communicating and creating knowledge has become an urgent task for public universities in a democratic South Africa. Much reflection has already gone into the methods and scope of transformation in higher education.

Although the faculty has done work on the implications of this for theology, there is one area of investigation that has not received much attention. It concerns the role of theological disciplines such as Old and New Testament, Missiology and Systematic Theology and Practical Theology, and specifically the relationship between academic disciplines and societal growth. The book focuses on these challenges and contains the intellectual undertakings of the contributors who are all lecturers, research fellows and post-graduate students linked to the faculty.

The questions
The key questions addressed are: what are the contours of the (post)apartheid condition and what are the implications for responsible discipline practices in theology. Professor Venter says the chapters in the book are logically arranged and moves from wider to more specific concerns. The first three chapters suggest broad perspectives on the challenges for theology in higher education, chart the changes, and make some suggestions for the future.

A dynamic field of study
The book states that theology has already experienced profound and radical changes over the past decade, which is known to us. All the chapters demonstrate these fundamental shifts, which have taken place in all theological sub-disciplines. Professor Venter says the contributions in the book illustrate that theology is a dynamic field of study, and is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment. Not all disciplines in theology are investigated for the book. However, the studies reflect the interests of the theologians in the Faculty of Theology at the UFS. Professor Venter hopes that the volume might stimulate further reflection of a similar nature by other theologians.

New insights
Through the ‘UFS Theological Exploration’ research series, the faculty hopes to stimulate new insights and new developments in academic progress and overall human growth. Series editor Professor Francois Tolmie says it is a fact that strong university research is necessary to achieve academic progress and advance human prospering. He says the faculty's research series will make a valuable contribution to these causes. Professor Tolmie says the ‘UFS Theological Explorations’ contains research of the highest academic standard which has been peer-reviewed to make significant educational contributions to core theological issues in South Africa and overseas.

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