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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

University helps design new test of academic literacy for postgraduates
2012-09-04

The Inter-institutional Centre for Language Development and Assessment (ICELDA), of which the University of the Free State (UFS) is a founding partner, has secured a joint agreement with the Language Centre at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands to design and develop another test of academic literacy for postgraduate students.

ICELDA is a partnership between four multilingual South African universities: Pretoria, Stellenbosch, North-West and Free State.

This design that ICELDA is coming up with will focus mainly on diagnostic purposes and follow in the footsteps of TALPS, the current test of academic literacy for postgraduate students at the four universities.

Prof. Albert Weideman, Head of the Department of English says TALPS has recently been the topic of a redesign and in-depth analysis undertaken by Colleen du Plessis, a junior lecturer in the Department of English for her master's dissertation. She is developing two further versions of it for ICELDA and the new project will involve Rebecca Patterson, who will do her long assignment for honours on the diagnostic value of the current test. A former doctoral student of the Department English Tobie van Dyk will be the project leader.

“The rationale for the project is that one can no longer take the academic literacy levels of postgraduate students for granted. We wish the investigating and development team that Tobie will put together, every success.”
 

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