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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

Radboud University extends Institutional Agreement with UFS
2017-11-28

Description: 2017 International  Tags: internationalisation, Radboud University, Netherlands, institutional, Economic and Management Sciences, EU Erasmus+ programme, Business School  

Photo: Pixabay

The Office for International Affairs, in collaboration with the Business School, recently hosted delegates from Radboud University in the Netherlands to expand the existing partnership between the University of the Free State (UFS) and Radboud University.

Prof Joris Knoben and Charissa van Mourik visited the UFS to renew the Collaboration Agreement into an Institutional Agreement. The collaboration between the two universities was initially formalised as a Collaboration Agreement in August 2014. 

Zenzele Mdletshe, Senior Officer: North-South Cooperation: Internationalisation, says, “This partnership has been successful in implementing student exchange mobility, with about four students from Radboud University participating in student exchange programmes at the UFS for a period of six months.” The Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, has also been part of an International Week Programme at the Radboud University for the past three years.

Exploring student exchange mobility through funding
The negotiations focused on extending the collaboration, as well as exploring opportunities to have exchange mobility from the UFS to Radboud University. “The agreement is to look into opening cooperation through funding models such as the EU Erasmus+ programme in order to overcome the financial challenges which hinder mobility of UFS students,” Mdletshe says.

Postgraduate programmes considered for future development
Radboud University is said to consider the waiving of all costs related to the participation of three UFS students in a two-week summer school programme at their campus. In addition to this discussion, the development of the postgraduate exchange programme, research collaborations, and future exploration of joint master’s degree programmes are also a possibility. 
“The participants agreed that the universities would explore external funding opportunities, specifically with a view to developing reciprocal PhD mobility,” Mdletshe says.

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