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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

Free software a matter of liberty, says computer programming expert
2013-09-03

Dr Richard Matthew Stallman
3 September 2013

“Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distributes, study, change and improves the software.”   That is according to well-known freedom activist and programmer, Dr Richard Matthew Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and leader of the GNU project.

The computer programming expert visited the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State, where he delivered a guest lecture on “A freeware generation.”

At this lecture, Dr Stallman, referred to by many as ‘the father of programming’ spoke about the threats that non-free software has and how the users are mandatory controlled by the software, instead of the user having complete freedom on the programme itself.

He told the audience in the Albert Wessels Auditorium that free software has advantages for the user, such as:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour.
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

Thus, ‘free software’ is a matter of liberty, not price.

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