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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

Jan Smuts: from country boy to world stage; a reassessment
2017-11-10

 Description: Jan Smuts: van boerseun tot wêreldverhoog Tags: Jan Smuts: van boerseun tot wêreldverhoog

At the book discussion of Jan Smuts: van boerseun tot wêreldverhoog;
'n herwaardering
, were from the left: Con Robinson, Protea Bookshop;
Prof Kobus du Pisani; and Prof André Wessels from the Department
of History at the UFS. 
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

Prof André Wessels from the Department of History at the University of the Free State (UFS) was one of 20 co-authors of Jan Smuts: van boerseun tot wêreldverhoog; 'n herwaardering – a book compiled under the leadership of the general editor, Prof Kobus du Pisani, from North-West University. This unique history book deals with the different themes in the life of Smuts, rather than describing the events chronologically. 

South Africans are almost afraid of their own history nowadays ... and yet another history book is being launched. Does it make sense? Yes, for two reasons. 

The monster in the dark
One of the ways to overcome fear is through knowledge. The monster in the dark disappears when one understands that the street lights and tree branches are creating interesting shadows. The more one knows about something, the less scary it becomes. 

The Greek Bible 

This was possibly also Smuts’s approach. Knowledge was his passion, and even today he is considered as one of the best students of the University of Cambridge. Although very few people really understand his holism theory, Smuts experienced the complex world in a very simple way – as one – not as lots of different pieces functioning independently of each other. 

Smuts could have made a success of any of his interest fields – law, botany, literature, and philosophy. However, politics laid three wars on his doorstep. While he is regarded as a militarist by some, he was actually a peacemaker. He played a role in the establishment of the League of Nations, and later the United Nations. Incidentally, he continued to read the Greek Bible while on commando during the Anglo-Boer War. 

A colourful character
The second reason for yet another Jan Smuts history book is his fascinating humanness. Time should be spent on colourful characters such as this. It is worthwhile hearing the story of someone who had such a great impact locally and internationally – good or bad. 

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