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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 hosts the 11th annual Registrars’ Imbizo
2014-03-14

 

The University of the Free State recently hosted the 11thAnnual Registrars’ Imbizo which took place on 3 – 5 March 2014 at the Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus. Convening from across the country, up to 37 delegates affiliated to the Office of the Registrar shared their experiences and expertise. It also provided an opportunity to raise their concerns about their role in governance and academic administration.

At the opening of the Imbizo, Prof Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic Affairs, acknowledged the challenging and complex task of registrars in South African universities. Prof Hay highlighted the complexities in the history of higher education and the policy environment in particular. She raised concerns around funding for higher education, policy amendments passed through parliament and the newly-proposed reporting regulations for universities. She also referred to the introduction of a transformation oversight committee to evaluate the effectiveness of transformation at universities.

During the three-day Imbizo, delegates focused on matters such as finance and administrations, policy in higher education as well as social media and its impact on higher education. Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar of the UFS and Chairperson, concluded the event. The visit included some sight-seeing – touring the Bloemfontein Campus and surrounds.

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