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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

Before and After Hector
2014-03-05

 

Björn Krondorfer

The apartheid years. The Anglo-Boer War. Mix these two topics together and you are ensured of a vigorous debate.

This was exactly the result at the Centenary Complex Gallery recently. During a round-table discussion, Kovsie students analysed an artwork by Gerrit Hattingh entitled “Before and After Hector”. The artwork depicts the iconic photo of Hector Pieterson – taken during the 1976 Soweto Uprising – staged as an event in the Anglo-Boer War.

The artwork functioned as the focal point at an exhibition curated by Angela de Jesus.The exhibition formed part of the International Research Forum hosted by the UFS which explored the topic of Societies in the Aftermath of Mass Trauma and Violence.

The ensuing conversation did not disappoint. The photograph evoked a wide range of views and emotions as the students reflected on the historic image representing violent and painful events of our collective past. As the students robustly exchanged their opinions, they developed strategies to support the reconciliation process. The dialogue assisted these students in formulating ways to look back at our history and use this knowledge to carry our society past traumatic experiences.

Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Senior Research Professor in the Office for Research on Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation, was astounded at the level of insight and wisdom the students displayed. “I am pleased that our students came to join us around the table to discuss this portrait which is iconic globally; to engage and also give their own interpretations of what they know, and what they do not know about our historical past. The dialogue about the interweaving of the Hector Pieterson photograph with the story of black victims of the British concentration camps is one of the ways of exploring the views of the younger generation in the aftermath of mass trauma and violence in our collective history,” Prof Gobodo-Madikizela concluded at the end of the conversation.

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