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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

Postgraduate School opens at UFS
2011-05-19

 
Prof. Maresi Nerad, from Washington university in Seattle, USA
Photo: Stephen Collett

We are celebrating the launch of our new Postgraduate School (PGS) on our Main Campus in Bloemfontein from 16 - 20 May 2011.

In line with national priorities for research-based postgraduate education and the focus of the UFS Academic Turnaround Strategy, the aims of the Postgraduate School are to:

  • improve the quality of postgraduate student research;
  • produce graduates who are global citizens, research literate and able to reflect ethically on the purpose, process and product of research;
  • improve throughput rates of postgraduate students; and
  • make the experience of being a postgraduate at the UFS one which is stimulating, enjoyable and which contributes to the development of the person beyond the limits of her or his discipline(s).

“We hope that the school will be a pleasant place to pursue research scholarship, discuss ideas and relax, and we look forward to welcoming postgraduates and other scholars to the school,” Prof. Neil Roos, Director of the UFS Postgraduate School said.

This significant event in the academic transformation of the university goes hand in hand with the inaugural lecture of Prof. Maresi Nerad. Prof. Nerad’s impressive CV reads amongst others that she has a M.A. (Political Science) at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany and a Ph.D. (Higher Education) at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the founding director of the national Center for Innovation and Research Graduate Education (CIRGE).

As Professor Extraordinary in the UFS’s Postgraduate School, she is bringing more to the table than a world of wisdom and her passion for the postgraduate education. “I can contribute lessons learned from four distinct professional experiences, including 17 years of administrative and scholarly leadership in undertaking the conceptual and practical transformational work of organisational change at two US postgraduate schools, where I worked amongst others to improve the quality of mentoring, shorten the time to doctoral degree, and improve doctoral completion rates.”

She also brings to the UFS her experience as founding and current director of the first research center for studies on graduate education in the world. “It is our mission to discover how best to prepare Ph.D. students to be effective leaders in research and society,” she said.

Prof. Nerad says that she is committed to support and consult with the UFS Postgraduate School. She would particularly encourage the use of research to understand postgraduate education in all its dimensions at the UFS better and to use the evidence-based findings as a base for policy-making and resource allocation.

In reflecting on her vision for the UFS Postgraduate School, Prof. Nerad says that five years from now she hopes to see the UFS having strengthened its position as a major driving force in the national South African postgraduate-education community for internationalising postgraduate education. She is also confident that the UFS will supply increased numbers of skilled postgraduates who are “intellectual entrepreneurs and risk takers with a social consciousness, who have sustainability of the systems of the planet as a core value”.

“Five years from now the PSG will have taken the lead in preparing graduate students who are world citizens,” Prof. Nerad concluded.

 

Presentation on PhD students reveals more than meets the eye

British professor presents a discussion at UFS

Journey from student to scholar

Society will take care of interests

Female academics talk about joys and lessons

Research plus the internet equals the cyber scholar
 


 

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