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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 can lead SA in race relations - Ramphele
2010-08-06


 

 
Pictured are: Dr Boesak and Dr Ramphele
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe

The University of the Free State (UFS) could well be a perfect model of excellence in race relations that the whole of South Africa could emulate.

This was said by Dr Mamphela Ramphele, the first African to be a Managing Director of the World Bank, during the Anti-Racism Network in Higher Education (ARNHE) Colloquium held at the UFS recently.

“Healing circles need to be constructed on this campus to address issues raised by the Reitz incident,” she said.

“You might yet be the pioneer of what needs to happen on a nation-wide level.

“Can we confidently commit today to go on this quest for a true humanity and walk together as fellow citizens and strive for a more human face for our society? That is our challenge. That is what the UFS is called to give leadership to.”

“It is this human face which has the power to liberate us from the body of death and strengthen us in our struggle for meaningful life together in South Africa,” added one of the main speakers, Dr Allan Boesak, a cleric and former anti-apartheid activist.

However, said Dr Ramphele, this could only be achieved if all South Africans, black and white, abandoned the fear for each other that was hindering, if not stalling, progress in this regard.

“Fear of each other is the most important impediment to the sustainability of our journey into a society united in our diversity,” she said.

“People in this country are afraid to stand up and be counted, including many vice-chancellors and clerics. They are afraid of being seen to be difficult, and that is a major problem. Fear is the most destructive emotion that you can have because it makes you really incompetent and unable to respond to challenges.”

She said the biggest impediment, though, to ending racism was denial. “White people deny vehemently that they are or have ever been racist,” she said.

“We need to go through a process of acknowledging our wounds and scars from our racist past and present missteps in public policy.”

“Instead of saying they are sorry, those who are conscious of their whiteness should rather say what they are sorry for,” said another main speaker, Prof. Dennis Francis, the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the UFS.

On the other hand, according to Dr Boesak, blacks were and still are, to a large extent, also to blame for their own ongoing oppression. “The key here was the acknowledgement of our sheepish timidity, our complicity,” he said.

The Chairperson of ARNHE, Prof. Norman Duncan, had this to say: “If we are to confront and eradicate racism in higher education institutions, we should not do so to create comfort zones for ourselves.”

The theme of this ARNHE Colloquium was Black consciousness and those conscious of their whiteness. It was presented by the International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice at the UFS.

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za 
6 August 2010


 

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