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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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Grant from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation provides significant boost for graduate and postdoctoral studies in the Humanities
2013-05-19

20 May 2013

The Andrew W Mellon Foundation has made an award of US $500 000 [c. ZAR 4.85 million] over three years to support graduate and postdoctoral studies in the Humanities at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The award will underwrite 20 postgraduate studentships and postdoctoral fellowships, as well as annual postgraduate skills training workshops and a research seminar programme, amongst other initiatives. Already underway following national and international advertisement, the programme has attracted highly qualified young scholars from South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as from the United Kingdom and the United States. While their fields of study include history, politics, anthropology and development studies, most of the research projects have an African focus and a marked historical dimension.

Postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students alike are associates of, or are registered in, the Centre for Africa Studies. Several of them, have already published articles in international refereed journals. Chapters in books, edited collections and single-authored monographs are all in the pipeline.

“The application to the Mellon Foundation was made in the context of UFS' strategic plan and the priority given to the importance of fostering and consolidating postgraduate and postdoctoral research. Together with other funding, this grant gives the university the opportunity to develop graduate studies in the Humanities in such a way that it surpasses many South African universities and approaches that of the best universities in the country,” says Prof Ian Phimister, Senior UFS Research Professor.

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