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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

Robotic telescope at Boyden Observatory
2005-08-17

Technicians from the University College Dublin in Ireland recently   installed the Watcher robotic telescope at the University of the Free State's (UFS) Boyden Observatory. 

The UFS Boyden Observatory was approached by the University College Dublin to accommodate the Watcher robotic telescope because of its good position for modern astronomical observations, its good infrastructure and because of Bloemfontein's cloudless nights
(especially in winter).

The telescope will mainly be used for observing the optical afterglow of gamma ray bursts (awe-inspiring explosions in the universe) and to search for exo planets (planets around other stars). 

The work that will be done with Watcher will closely link to one of the research directions of the UFS astro physics group that is currently observing these phenomenon with the Boyden 1.5-m telescope. 

The telescope will receive its instructions via the internet and is expected to be fully operational by November 2005. 

At the Watcher robotic telescope are from left Mr Victor Litera, electronical technician from the University College Dublin in Ireland and Dr Matie Hoffman from the Physics Department at the UFS.
 

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