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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

Joseph Pali - Serving with a heart for the ministry
2017-09-19

Description: Dr Pali  Tags: Dr Pali  

Dr Joseph Pali received his joint
doctoral degree at the Vrije University,
Amsterdam.
Photo: Anja Aucamp



Dr Khamadi Joseph Pali is the coordinator of the Higher Certificate in Theology at our university’s Faculty of Theology and Religion. This course focuses on Biblical hermeneutics, Christian leadership, African theology, and pastoral care for students who have a passion for the ministry. In addition to this responsibility, he participated in a collaborative doctoral programme with the Vrije University (VU) in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from 2011 till December 2016.

What is the theme of your doctoral thesis?

“The theme of my PhD thesis is Leadership and Transformation in the African Church: A Practical Theological Study of One Denomination. The Dutch Reformed Church in Africa in the Free State region was used as a case study. The study was an attempt to understand what kind of leadership transformation is needed.

Please describe your journey from the UFS to the Netherlands?
“My completion of this joint PhD programme is monumental, and a historical achievement for me and the Faculty of Theology and Religion. After completing my master’s degree in 2009, I was employed by the then Department of Practical Theology. Prof Kobus Schoeman, my head of department, proposed that I enrol for this programme. I agreed, viewing it as an opportunity to learn, empower myself, and be exposed to new study experiences.”

What did this learning experience mean to you?
“For me, it was an opportunity from God, enabling me to help my church and its members. It was also a reward for my hard work, and I grabbed the opportunity to learn from the best with both hands. My interaction with various scholars at the VU during my visits to Amsterdam was especially rewarding. The experience made me develop an open mind, interdisciplinary approach, and critical reflection.

In my teaching responsibilities, I focus on Africa as our context of study. Learning about our past and how to effectively engage that legacy, especially in South Africa, is a measure of success in our academic and ministerial training. I intend to delve into transformation from the Christian and African perspective to understand what is needed for the practice of Christian religion and to drive transformation in the African context.”

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