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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. 



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Department of Political Studies and Governance involved in regional seminar on peace and security in Southern Africa
2012-09-26

Attending the Lusaka seminar was from the left: Prof. Hussein Solomon; Prof. Virgil Hawkins from Osaka University and main organiser of the seminar; and Prof. Theo Neethling.
26 September 2012

Two staff members from the Department of Political Studies and Governance, Prof. Hussein Solomon and Prof. Theo Neethling, were recently invited by the Osaka University in Japan to participate in a regional seminar in Lusaka, Zambia, on multinational peacekeeping and peace enforcement in Southern Africa.

The seminar was organised by the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace and Security funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Prof. Solomon presented a paper on the establishment of the Southern African contingent of the African Union’s African Standby Force, while Prof. Neethling presented his paper on United Nations peacekeeping operations in the war-ravaged eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The participation of Prof. Solomon, Senior Professor, and Prof. Neethling, Head of the Department of Political Studies and Governance, comes from a cooperation agreement between Osaka University’s School for International Public Policy (OSIPP) and the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Free State. The agreement covers issues like joint collaboration projects, the exchange of staff and senior students and joint conferences. One of the key joint areas lay in the Southern African Centre for Peace and Security Studies, a consortium of several Southern African universities with Osaka University and the University of the Free State as its key pillars.

Other universities include the University of Zambia, Zambian Open University, University of Dar es Salaam, Mozambique-Tanzania Centre for Foreign Relations. Academics from other universities in the region, like Nzuzu University in Malawi, University of Botswana, University of South Africa, Stellenbosch University, University of Zimbabwe, are all in the network.

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