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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

UFS first to mechanise agricultural technique
2006-05-09

    

Small farmers from Thaba `Nchu were the biggest group attending the farmers day at the UFS Paradys experimental farm.  From the left are Mr David Motlhale (a small farmer from Thaba 'Nchu), Prof Leon van Rensburg (lecturer at the UFS Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences and project leader), Mr Nhlonipho Nhlabatsi (Agricultural Research Council, Glen), Ms Meisie Mthethwa (small farmer from Bloemspruit).  In front is Mr Patrick Molatodi (chairperson of the Tswelopele Small Farmer Association).
 

 

Some of the participants of the farmers day at the UFS Paradys experimental farm were from the left Prof Leon van Rensburg (lecturer at the UFS Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences and project leader, Mr Patrick Molatodi (chairperson of the Tswelopele Small Farmers Association) and Prof Herman van Schalkwyk (Dean: UFS Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences).

UFS first tertiary institution in world to mechanise agricultural technique
The University of the Free State (UFS) is the first tertiary institution in the world to mechanise the in-field rain water harvesting technique on a commercial scale.

The technique was recently demonstrated to about 100 small farmers at the UFS Paradys experimental farm outside Bloemfontein. 

“With this technique rain water is channeled to the plant and in this way food security is increased.  The advantage of the technique for commercial farmers lies in the reduced cultivation of land.  Small farmers will benefit from this because they can now move out into the fields and away from farming in their back yards,” says Prof Leon van Rensburg, lecturer at the UFS Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences and project leader.    

Rain water harvesting is an antique concept that was used by communities before the birth of Christ.  In South Africa the technique is mainly used in the plots of small farmers where they make surface structures by hand. 

"The technique is also used for the first time by the UFS on commercial scale by means of the cultivation of a summer crop on 100 ha at the Paradys experimental farm,” says Prof Leon van Rensburg,

Of the farmers who attended the farmers day most represented about 42 rural communities in the vicinity of Thaba ‘Nchu.  A group of seven from KwaZulu-Natal also attended the proceedings.  These small farmers can for example apply this technique successfully on the 250-300 ha communal land that is available in the Thaba ‘Nchu area. 

The project is funded by the UFS and the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the farmers’ day was funded by the Water Research Commission.   

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
9 May 2006

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