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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

Academic receives honorary medal in Slovakia
2008-10-09

 

Prof Riaan Luyt (right) receives his medal from the Director of the Polymer Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dr Jozef Rychly.

  

Prof Riaan Luyt, professor in Chemistry and head of the Natural Sciences Programme at the Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State, received an honorary medal from the Polymer Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences on Monday 29 September during a conference in the High Tatras mountains of Slovakia.

During the event Prof Luyt also presented a lecture entitled ‘Paraffin wax in polymer blends and composites: Is it worth investigating?’. In this lecture he gave an overview of the research that he and his group did over a period of 10 years in collaboration with scientists at this institute. The results of this research was published in eighteen international papers and one research book chapter.

Prof Luyt’s research at the Qwaqwa Campus involves polymer blends and composites, and he has already published 82 papers in international, peer reviewed journals, as well as two book chapters. At present his research group consists of nine doctoral and five master’s degree students, as well as a postdoctoral fellow. The postdoctoral fellow is from Nigeria, and one of the doctoral students is from Sudan.

Prof Luyt and his group collaborate formally internationally with groups in Kottayam (India), Modena (Italy), Budapest (Hungary) and Bratislava (Slovakia). He also collaborates informally with groups at the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch, and with a group in Johor Bahru (Malaysia).

He previously received recognition for his research from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (Award for Outstanding Research in 2005) and from the Qwaqwa Campus of the UFS (Jubilee Medal and Certificate for Outstanding Research in 2007).
 

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