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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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OSM Camerata records CD with world-renowned cellist
2014-05-14

In 2010, South African cellist Heleen du Plessis, Executant lecturer for cello at the University of Otago, initiated the project “Cello for Africa”. The objective was to record a CD of new South African compositions for cello, reflecting the multi-cultural context of the country.

Du Plessis received an extensive research grant from the University of Otago in order to realise the project by commissioning, premièring and recording music. The aim was to facilitate a dialogue between Western and African musical traditions, as well as between the cello and indigenous African instruments.

Hans Huyssen, composer and cellist, has been closely involved in indigenous African music for a considerable time. In light of his extensive international experience, the SAMRO Foundation has granted Du Plessis' request to commission Huyssen to this task.

A world premiere concert preceded the recordings at the UFS’ Odeion School of Music (OSM) in March 2013, partially funded by a Humanities Research Grant as well as the OSM. This event provided a collaborative platform for musicians from different cultural backgrounds and several institutions to contribute towards a cultural and musical exchange. The funding enabled the project to successfully conclude in the recording of the CD, “Cello for Africa”. It was released by ODE records – the New Zealand label for classical music.

The OSM Camerata (OSMC) is the flagship ensemble of the OSM and was founded in 2012 with the main objective to kindle and forge the talents of exceptionally gifted students and pursue the highest artistic standards possible.

The OSMC participated in 2013 in the 13th International Conservatoire Festival hosted at the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire in St Petersburg, Russia. The OSMC received a standing ovation during their gala performance in the Glazonov Hall with a programme by South African composers Stefans Grové and Hendrik Hofmeyr.

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