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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

Prof Tredoux turns theories regarding the formation of metals on its head
2013-09-17

 

Prof Marian Tredoux
17 September 2013

The latest research conducted by Prof Marian Tredoux of the Department of Geology, in collaboration with her research assistant Bianca Kennedy and their colleagues in Germany, placed established theories regarding how minerals of the platinum-group of elements are formed, under close scrutiny.

The article on this research of which Prof Tredoux is a co-author – ‘Noble metal nanoclusters and nanoparticles precede mineral formation in magmatic sulphide melts’ – was published in Nature Communications on 6 September 2013. It is an online journal for research of the highest quality in the fields of biological, physical and chemical sciences.

This study found that atoms of platinum and arsenic create nanoclusters, long before the mineral sperrylite can crystallise. Thus, the platinum does not occur as a primary sulphur compound. The research was conducted at the Steinmann Institute of the University of Bonn, Germany, as well as here in Bloemfontein.

Monetary support from Inkaba yeAfrica – a German-South African multidisciplinary and intercultural Earth Science collaborative of the National Research Foundation (NRF) – made this research possible. Studies are now also being conducted on other metals in the precious metal group, specifically palladium, rhodium and ruthenium.

The discovery of the nanoclusters and the combination with arsenic can have far-reaching consequences for the platinum mine industry, if it can be utilised to recover a greater amount of platinum ore and therefore less wastage ending up in mine dumps. This will signify optimal mining of a scarce and valuable metal, one of South Africa’s most important export products.

For Prof Tredoux, the research results also prove thoughts she already had some twenty years ago around the forming of platinum minerals. “Researchers laughed in my face, but the evidence had to wait for the development of technology to prove it.” Young researchers were very excited at recent congresses about the findings, since the new models can bring new insights.

“Chemistry researchers have been talking about platinum element clusters in watery environments for quite a while, but it was thought that these would not appear in magmas (molten rock) due to the high temperatures (>1 000 degrees celsius).”

Prof Tredoux has already delivered lectures at congresses in Scotland, Hungary, Sweden and Italy on this research.

Read the article at: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/130906/ncomms3405/full/ncomms3405.html

 

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