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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

Three … Two … One … Lift off! Naval Hill Planetarium is blasting the public off into space
2014-02-28

History was made on 1 November 2013 when the first digital planetarium in sub-Saharan Africa was inaugurated – right here in Bloemfontein. Due to the involvement of the University of the Free State, in partnership with a host of sponsors, the public can now visit the outer reaches of our universe from the top of Naval Hill.

A digital dome was fitted into the existing observatory structure, is a 12-metre seamless aluminium screen, complemented by a powerful surround-sound system and multiple data projectors. The result: an immersive journey through space which feels very close to reality.

The response from the community has been overwhelming, with a booming interest in the night sky and galaxies stretching into the unknown. Several exhilarating shows – each lasting about 60 minutes – are scheduled for the next couple of months.

One of these ‘flights of fancy’ includes the show Space Junk to be screened twice a month. Space Junk complements the blockbuster science fiction thriller, Gravity, that showed at the movies during the last few weeks of 2013.

Booking for this show is essential.

Rates:

Adults: R50
Learners: R30
Pensioners: R30

You are welcome to send any enquiries to Yolandie Loots at FickY@ufs.ac.za or contact her directly at 051 401 9751.

Rates and dates for group bookings are available on request.

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