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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

High-level Texas delegation visits UFS
2010-08-13

Pictured here, from the left, back, are visitors from Texas and UFS management: Ms Stephanie Curs (Director: Office of the Vice President for Global Initiatives), Dr Edwin Price (Associate Vice-Chancellor for International Agriculture and Director of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture), Dr Mike Greenwald (Professor and Program Director for the International Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts), Prof. Ward Wells (Professor and Associate Head for Professional Programs, College of Architecture, and Director of Academy for Visual and Performing Arts), Dr Glen Mills ( Professor and Head of Department of Architecture), and Dr Alan Sams (Executive Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences); front: Prof. Jonathan Jansen (Rector and Vice-Chancellor, UFS), Mr Eric Bost (former USA Ambassador to South Africa and Vice-President for Global Initiatives), and Prof. Ezekiel Moraka (Vice-Rector: External Relations, UFS). – Photo: Stephen Collett.

A high-level delegation from Texas A&M University in the USA, led by Mr Eric Bost, Vice-President Global Initiatives and previous USA Ambassador to South Africa, visited the University of the Free State (UFS) recently. The objective of the visit was to forge strategic linkages and research partnerships within the ambit of Texas A&M’s expanded Africa strategy.

Texas A&M has 50 000 students, and is internationally renowned and highly rated for its scholarship, academic achievement and excellent research profile. The delegation consisted of representatives from the President's Office, various deans and heads of departments.

The discussions during the visit identified a number of shared interests and common research foci, and colleagues were unanimous in their pursuit to strengthen the relations.

In January 2009 Mr Bost delivered his final official address as US Ambassador to South Africa on the UFS Main Campus. Mr Bost, a close friend of the UFS, has since sparked numerous activities to further the transformation agenda at the UFS, and is very supportive of the work of the International Institute for Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice. A number of Fulbright senior specialists from the US are participating in the further conceptualisation, roll-out and activities of the Institute.
 

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