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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

Manuel Castillo Book Prize goes to Prof Melanie Walker
2014-05-15



Prof Melanie Walker

Prof Melanie Walker from our Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development (CRHED) and Alejandra Boni from the Technical University of Valencia in Spain makes for a potent writing combination. Their book, Human Development and Capabilities: Re-imagining the University of the twenty-first Century, has won the 2014 Spanish Manuel Castillo Book Prize. This in the category of a Published University Research Monograph.

The aim of this prize is to stimulate academic, scientific and journalist research in the fields of cooperation, peace and human development. And this is precisely what underpins their book.

The content encourages the reader to re-imagine the role of the university and its potential for transformative ends. It urges the creation of better societies while acknowledging contemporary social and economic challenges. It shows how universities might advance human equalities and how these institutions can contribute to sustainable and democratic societies.

In her acceptance speech, Professor Walker noted that “the book is pioneering in its linking universities to human development in an age where globally human capital and economic growth approaches dominate higher education policy.” She noted that the human capital argument is by no means settled – an increased focus on economic growth only contributes to growing inequalities. “We hope the book will challenge and add to debating the purposes of universities,” Prof Walker said.

Not only was this trans-continental collaboration an intellectual and personal joy for Prof Walker, but it has served as a springboard to further research and more writing together with Alejandra Boni.


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