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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

International Bible scholars attend conference on Apocalyptic Literature and Mysticism
2017-09-18

Description: Bible Scholars Tags: Bible Scholars, UFS Faculty of Theology and Religion, Prof Francis Petersen 

Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor,
second from left, flanked by three
deans of theology: Prof Fanie Snyman (UFS),
Prof Jörg Frey (University of Zurich),
and Prof Gregory Sterling (Yale Divinity School).
Photo: Eugene Seegers


Apocalypticism and mysticism have become two key areas of research that have converged to form the heart of contemporary spirituality. It was with this in mind that leading local and international Bible scholars were invited to a collaborative international conference jointly hosted by the UFS Faculty of Theology and Religion and Yale Divinity School, with the theme Apocalyptic Literature and Mysticism—Investigating a Turn in Recent Apocalyptic Research.

It is perhaps unknown to many that a number of the most profound thinkers, both of Judeo-Christian tradition and other religions in general, were mystics. Their lives and writings speak of a longing for an intimate relationship with God, reflecting on universal existential questions such as understanding our human existence, our creation, and ultimately, the meaning of life.

Apocalypticism, on the other hand, focuses on texts and prophecies describing how an alternative, future world might replace our existing one, a process often cataclysmic in nature, thus, like the mystics, also reflecting on the deeper foundations of human existence and our possible demise.

Traditionally, both have been misunderstood and controversial, but more recent research has revealed their formative role in religious discourses, with many scholars finding growing commonalities between apocalyptic and mystical texts. Moreover, these commonalities help to establish a better understanding of Judeo-Christian traditions, as well as other religions in general.

This hugely successful UFS collaborative effort, as well as others of its kind, contribute to the growth of theology as a discipline, with a positive impact on the broader religious community, the church, and society as a whole in the common desire for a just, equitable, and humane world.

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