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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

Visiting UK professor presents research project at CRHED
2017-04-12

Description: ' AM Bathmaker CRHED  Tags: AM Bathmaker CRHED

Prof Ann-Marie Bathmaker, University of Birmingham,
during her presentation at the UFS.

Photo: Eugene Seegers

Paired Peers: Pathways to social mobility—Investing in the future? Moving through HE and into employment was recently presented to staff and postdoctoral students by Prof Ann-Marie Bathmaker, from the University of Birmingham, during her visit to South Africa while working on the Miratho Research Project with CRHED. Prof Bathmaker’s research interest particularly focuses on issues of equity, social mobility, and social class inequalities. Her presentation, the second in the Higher Education Research Seminar series presented by CRHED, was based on research resulting from a seven-year project in England.

In the UK, higher education (HE) is considered a key route to social mobility. Interest has grown in graduate destinations, particularly the prospects and obstacles faced by graduates from different social backgrounds. Paired Peers followed 70 students throughout their undergraduate studies and into the working world.

The project explored the processes of social mobility, highlighting different orientations and practices towards investing in the future, which ranged from investing in the present to cultural entrepreneurship for the future.

Participants were selected from two universities in Bristol, England. The research team focused on three key themes: “Getting In” (access to HE), “Getting On” (financial limitations, friendships, accommodation), and “Getting Out” (holiday work, internships, and finding suitable graduate employment).

Prof Bathmaker was able to highlight key research findings, many of which resonated with those attending. From the question-and-answer session, it was clear that many issues regarding inclusivity, whether across gender, ethnic, or language barriers, find their parallels in the South African context and can be of benefit to higher education practitioners here.

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