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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

Young researchers shine during the international Afromontane Colloquium
2017-07-18

 Description: Afromontane Colloquium  Tags: Afromontane Colloquium  

From the left, are: Drs Reetu Sogani (India),
Greg Greenwood (US-Switzerland), Teboho Manchu,
Acting Campus Principal, Drs Jianchu Xu (China),
Henri Rueff (Switzerland), Glen Taylor, Senior Director:
Research Development; and Dr Elsa Crause,
Campus Vice-Principal: Academic and Research.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

The University of the Free State’s Afromontane Research Unit (ARU), which is situated on the Qwaqwa Campus, has the potential to produce some of the world’s best and dynamic young researchers. This is the view shared by Drs Henri Rueff and Reetu Sogani, who were the keynote speakers during the ARU Colloquium hosted at Golden Gate in the Eastern Free State.

Dr Rueff, a geographer and environmental economist from the Universities of Basel and Bern in Switzerland, was referring to no less than ten Qwaqwa Campus postgraduate students who made oral and poster presentations during the inaugural international colloquium.

Colloquium an opportunity to interact
“You have some of the world’s most motivated and highly skilled students who have the courage to stand in front of extremely critical scientists from all over the globe – and that must be commended,” he said.

Dr Reetu Sogani from India said that her first trip to South Africa did not disappoint. “This colloquium was a very good learning experience for me as I had the opportunity to interact with brilliant and young scientists from this part of the world,” she added.

In closing the colloquium, the Senior Director: Research Development, Dr Glen Taylor, committed the UFS to the success of the unit.

“The ARU will strengthen the research output of the campus. But most important of all, it is setting the research agenda for the Qwaqwa Campus, and for the institution at large, to address the challenges that the surrounding mountain communities are faced with,” he said.


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