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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

Prestigious Helgaard Steyn Prize to be awarded to UFS composer
2010-11-08

 Hans Huyssen.

The composer Hans Huyssen, affiliated with the Department of Music at the University of the Free State (UFS), is to be the current recipient of the prestigious 2010 Helgaard Steyn Prize, the prize-winning work being Huyssen’s Proteus Variations (2006).Annually this award is administered and presented to a selected composer, painter, author, or sculptor by the Universities of the Free State and the North-West on a rotating basis. The judges for this year’s prize were Prof. Bertha Spies, Research Fellow, North-West University, and Professor Extraordinary, University of Pretoria, and Mr Noel Stockton, Senior Lecturer at the University of the Free State.

Hans Huyssen’s musical activities encompass the diverse poles of early and contemporary Western and African music, often in an attempt to assimilate the essential qualities from all these fields. His intense focus on contextuality suggests that he approaches music as a profoundly social force which has a particular role to play in our ‘new’ diversified South African society.

The Proteus Variations were commissioned by the Deutsche Welle Radio for the South African National Youth Orchestra 2006, and were premiered at the Beethoven Bonn Festival during 2006. These variations are described by the composer as “a musical representation of South Africa’s manifold Proteaceae”, named for the Greek god Proteus who, at will, was capable of assuming a spectrum of shapes and appearances. As the composer states: “It is worth noticing that a Protea is South Africa’s national flower. What could be more appropriate in providing a key to an opposite perception and understanding of the country’s diverse cultural expressions? In this regard it is my hope that the Proteus Variations may contribute a little to the wide scope of cultural responses necessary to begin to do justice to the extremely rich tapestry of our immediate cultural and natural surroundings”.

The prize of R170 000 will be awarded to Hans Huyssen by a representative of ABSA Trust, who is one of the trustees of the Helgaard Steyn Trust, in Bloemfontein on 8 November 2010.

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