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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

UFS launches focused research niche areas
2009-11-20

The University of the Free State (UFS) will launch its six research niche areas, the Strategic Academic Clusters, from 23-25 November 2009 on its Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

These Clusters represent a move from a fragmented to a more focused approach to research development at the UFS and will in future direct the University’s research endeavours.

“The UFS is increasingly operating in a competitive environment where South African universities no longer compete only with their national counterparts, but also internationally. With the Clusters the University will follow a focused approach to the strategic selection of niche knowledge platforms and research areas,” says Prof. Frans Swanepoel, Director of Research Development at the UFS.

The Clusters are: Water management in water-scarce areas; New frontiers in poverty reduction and sustainable development; Transformation in highly diverse societies; Technologies for sustainable crop industries in semi-arid regions; Materials and nanosciences; and Advanced biomolecular research.

“The Clusters embody the pursuit of quality and excellence and the name signifies the University’s concern not only with research, but also with under- and postgraduate teaching and learning. The vision is that the Cluster activities will not only drive world-class research outputs, but also contribute to internationally renowned graduate programme activities,” says Prof. Swanepoel.

Each of the Clusters is led by a dedicated director who provides academic leadership, facilitates cutting-edge research, leverages multidisciplinary synergies and coordinates the overall Cluster activities.

Next week’s launch programme will start on Monday, 23 November 2009 with a gala dinner, followed by a plenary symposium on Tuesday, 24 November 2009, during which the Clusters will be introduced.

Several national and international experts in the fields covered by the Clusters will take part in this symposium. They are, amongst others: Dr Danny Walmsley from St Mary’s University in Canada; Dr David Wolfe from Cornell University and Dr David Clark from the National Institute of Health, both in the USA; Mr Mark Ashley from the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre in Australia; Dr Ian Goldman from the Office of the Presidency in South Africa; Prof Peter Ewang from the South African National Development Agency; Mr Willem Louw from Sasol Technology; and Dr Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela from the University of Cape Town.

On Wednesday, 25 November 2009 each Cluster will present its own symposium.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
20 November 2009

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