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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

Stochastic Modelling for Reliability from Russia
2013-12-20

 

 Prof Maxim (MS) Finkelstein’s
The Russian professor first visited our university in 1993 and loved the environment. For the last 15 years we were fortunate to have had a man of Prof Maxim (MS) Finkelstein’s (65) stature as part of our Department of Mathematical Statistics.

“I like the atmosphere, the environment and the people of the UFS,” says Prof Finkelstein. “The UFS is a real campus, not part of the city as a lot of other universities in South Africa.”

Prof Finkelstein completed his MSc in Mathematical Physics from the Leningrad State University in the USSR in 1971. Maths and Physics have been a passion of his since a young age. In 1979, Prof Finkelstein completed his PhD in Mathematical Theory of Reliability at Leningrad Elektropribor Institute. Before his career at our university, Prof Finkelstein was a Senior Researcher at St. Petersburg Elektropribor Institute and an Associate Professor at Leningrad Technological Institute.

His long list of publications includes over 170 papers and five books. His monograph Failure Rate Modelling for Reliability and Risk was published by Springer in 2008. More recently another monograph – which was co-authored with JH Cha – was published by Springer in April 2013 and is called Stochastic Modelling for Reliability: Shocks, Burn-in, and Heterogeneous Populations.

Prof Finkelstein’s research interests include mathematical theory of reliability, survival analysis, risk and safety modelling, stochastic processes and stochastics in demography. When asked about leisure and life outside of research, the devoted academic’s response was as follows…

“To have publications, you have to work all the time. I work half of Saturdays and most of Sundays,” Prof Finkelstein says. “I spend three months a year in Russia and Germany – mostly during the European summer – for my research.”
“But apart from that, I like reading – classical Russian authors mostly. I swim in the UFS’s swimming pool almost every day and I play tennis as well.”

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