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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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Another L’Atelier feather in the university’s cap
2013-07-24

 

Pauline Gutter, winner of this year’s Absa L’Atelier competition
Photo: Supplied
23 July 2013

"Dagbreek: Die Dagbreker" - interview with Pauline Gutter (YouTube)

A former Kovsie won the Absa L’Atelier competition – South Africa’s most prestigious art competition – for the second year in a row.

Pauline Gutter, who completed her BA Fine Arts degree at the UFS in 2003, is the second artist from the Free State to win the competition, which is in its 28th year of existence. In 2012, Elrie Joubert, another former Kovsie student from the Department of Fine Arts, won the competition as well.

As overall winner, Gutter receives a cash prize of R125 000 and six months’ residency in the studio apartment Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France.

Her winning entry, Die huweliksaansoek, is an interactive work consisting of a 1.8 m high association-rich obelisk, an engraved plaque, a small TV monitor and a farm-line handset. A video of a bull standing in a crush while semen is being drawn from it, is displayed. The viewer is invited to listen in voyeuristically. The soundtrack for the text is composed of statements and comments made by participants in the programme “Boer soek `n Vrou”. The question highlighted by the work, is, “does a farmer choose his future wife in the same way he breeds his stud animals?”

Pauline says her association with the farm, principled parents and strong family ties serve as inspiration for her work. To express her artistic voice in a contemporary environment is to be a close observer of society, she says. “It’s to ask questions which confront the viewer in a provocative way.”

Her advice to new artists is “hard work, sustainability and commitment. Keep looking until you find the place where you fit in.”

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