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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

Marieka Gryzenhout receives NRF-NSTF Award
2013-07-03

 

Dr Gryzenhout
Photo: Sonia Small
03 July 2013

“The award serves to prove that my type of research is truly relevant.” These are the words of Dr Marieka Gryzenhout of the Department of Plant Sciences at the UFS, who received the T W Kambule NRF-NSTF Award as emerging researcher in June 2013.

The award from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) gives recognition to her outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) in the country.

Dr Gryzenhout is also part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholar Programme.

“It was an honour to be chosen as a finalist, but to even win it? Die award indicates the importance of fungi and plant pathogens, and their presence in various biological systems and that it is important to identify and categorise significant plant pathogens and fungi to enable easier access for users of these names.”

Dr Gryzenhout was in the US on the evening of the awards ceremony, attending a workshop on the identification and research of another fungus group, Fusarium. “This group is extremely important, since it includes important plant pathogens, producers of toxins in food and feed, as well as animal and human pathogens, and it also plays important ecological roles.”

She attended the Kansas State University in Kansas and paid a visit to the Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Unit of the US Department of Agriculture in Illinois.

Dr Gryzenhout is also a finalist in the Women in Science Awards hosted by the Department of Science and Technology. The winner will be announced in August 2013. Prof Maryke Labuschagne and Rose Lekhooa are also nominees.

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