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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

Founding meeting of the Advisory Panel of the International Institute of Diversity
2008-11-21

The University of the Free State (UFS) today (20 November 2008) successfully convened and hosted the founding meeting of the Advisory Panel of the International Institute of Diversity.

In the wake of the Reitz video incident, the UFS wishes to establish an institute that will study and promote transformation on the campus as a microcosm of the much broader socio-political challenges facing South Africa. It is hoped that in due course the UFS and the institution will develop the expertise and experience to help other organisations and societies in transition.

The institute will work closely with the Transformation Cluster – one of six strategic academic clusters already created as part of the university’s long-term strategic plans.

Given the transformation climate in which it finds itself, the university recognises that the guidance, support and direct involvement of thought leaders and other specialists in the field of transformation are critical to the design and operation of the proposed institute. To this end, the university has established an advisory panel for the institute. The Advisory Panel will give guidance to the Executive Director (to be appointed) in helping with the conceptualisation, design, and development of the institute, and the compilation of its business plan.

Brian Gibson Issue Management facilitated the meeting and is also responsible for the reporting on the meeting. The International Institute for Development and Ethics (IIDE) co-hosted and provided the secretarial support for the meeting.

 


The members of the advisory panel:  

(Click here to read more about the Panel Members)

External panel members:

Dr Clint Le Bruyns, Senior Lecturer in Public Theology and Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch .

Dr Sebiletso Mokone-Matabane, Chief Executive Officer, Sentech Limited.

Dr Andries Odendaal works in the field of conflict transformation with international agencies such as the United Nations, DANIDA and GTZ.

Prof. Lungisile Ntsebeza, National Research Foundation (NRF) Research Chair in Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa in the Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town.

Mr Roger Crawford, Executive Director for Government Affairs and Policy South Africa, Johnson & Johnson.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria 2001 to 2007.

Ms Zandile Mbele, Director of Plessey (PTY) Ltd. and the Transformation Executive for Dimension Data.

Dr André Keet, Director: Transdisciplinary Programme at the University of Fort Hare in October 2008 and part-time Commissioner with the Commission for Gender Equality.


Dr Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela is an associate professor in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Program in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University.

Dr Mpilo Pearl Sithole is a senior research specialist in the Democracy and Governance Research Programme at the Human Science Research Council.

Professor Steven Friedman, D.Litt. is Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg.

Representatives from UFS:

Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Academic Operations at the University of the Free State, and currently Acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Prof. Piet Erasmus, Interim Co-ordinator for the Cluster Transformation in Highly Diverse Societies.

Prof. Lucius Botes, Director of the Centre of Development Support and Programme Director of the Postgraduate Programme in Development Studies.

Prof. Philip Nel, Former Director of the Centre for Africa Studies at the UFS.
 

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