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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

Oncology department celebrates 50 years of excellence
2017-09-07

  Description: Oncology photo Tags: Oncology, cancer, University of the Free State, UFS, Dr Alicia Sherriff, Faculty of Health Sciences

The UFS Department of Oncology celebrated 50 years of
existence. Prof Louis Goedhals says that the department
is like a family that will carry and support you.
Photo: Wendy Ruth
 



South Africa could see an increase of 78% in the number of cancer cases by 2030 and from a global perspective, a 75% increase is expected, increasing the total incidence of all new cancer cases from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030, according to a recent study published by medical journal Lancet. According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), more than 100 000 South Africans are diagnosed each year. It is rather comforting that the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Faculty of Health Sciences has an Oncology department that has been fighting cancer for 50 years. 

Excellence over the decades 
The 50-year celebration of the Department of Oncology took place at the UFS Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus on 19 August 2017. The auspicious event was attended by UFS Faculty of Health Sciences registrars, radiation oncology radiographers and professional nurses who had trained in the department over the past 50 years, as well as the current departmental staff.

Dr Alicia Sherriff, Head of the Department of Oncology welcomed the dignitaries and thanked everyone for their attendance and dedication to the department, Prof Louis Goedhals, the oldest surviving head of department, gave a summary of the 50 years. He said once you were involved with this department you became part of a family that would carry and support you. Memories were shared and friendships rekindled. The message of this department that stood the test of time was: “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always … and to bring hope”.

UFS dignitaries reveled in the moment 

Among the special guests were the Rector and Vice Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences; the Free State MEC for Health Mr Butana Komphela, and CEO of Universitas Hospital Dr Marcus Molokomme, were invited. The function was well attended by personnel, graduates from as far as Portugal, and dignitaries from the university. There was a sense of unity and belonging among all the attendees and enthusiastic catching up over the years that have passed.

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