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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. 



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Prof Annie van den Oever envisions the future of film and visual media in her inaugural lecture
2014-02-07

The university formally welcomed Prof Annie van den Oever, an internationally-recognised film and media scholar, within its academic ranks. Her association with the UFS forms part of an exciting new postgraduate programme in film and visual media being created by the Faculty of the Humanities.

Prof Annie van den Oever delivered her inaugural lecture, “Foundational Questions for a Film and Visual Media Programme”, sharing her extensive knowledge in the field. The lecture attracted an international audience with people following the talk via live streaming from places such as Oslo, Berlin and London.

“Annie is quite a connected person through the film and visual media world,” Prof Lucius Botes, Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities, told the audience in the CR Swart Auditorium. He also referred to the fact that, under the auspices of Prof Van den Oever, two staff members from the faculty completed their master’s degrees at the University Groningen where she also teaches. “I am happy to announce that through Annie’s network we can invest in these young people.”

Prof Suzanne Human, Head of the Department History of Art, applauded the senior leadership for its vision to appoint Prof Van den Oever as extraordinary professor. “We have profoundly benefited and will still benefit from Annie’s obvious enjoyment in sharing her considerable experience and expertise in the design of a programme of film and media studies.”

The new postgraduate programme in film and visual media is being developed in partnership with the departments of Art History and Visual Culture Studies, Drama and Theatre Arts, English and the Department of Afrikaans, Dutch, German and French. The university aims to have the first film students enrol in 2015.

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