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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

Stakeholders endorse UFS’s vision and strategy
2014-05-27

Results from a perception audit commissioned by the University of the Free State (UFS) in February 2014 have been finalised. The audit indicates that 86,14% of the university’s internal and external stakeholders agree with the institution's stated vision. An average of 81,99% of stakeholders endorse our values and 81,28% agree with our goals. 

The study was commissioned by the university's Department of Communication and Brand Management and conducted by an external firm of independent researchers. It was aimed at determining internal and external stakeholder understanding and endorsement of university strategy, as well as tracking core reputational indicators and perceptions.

The study was conducted among a representative sample of 23 stakeholder groupings, including staff, current and prospective students, donors, alumni, school principals, community leaders, potential employers of students and international partner universities.

Two similar audits were conducted in the last ten years – in 2005 and again in 2008 after the Reitz incident. Although a direct comparison of findings would not be psychometrically rigorous due to differing research modelling and sampling methods, there is a strong indication that the perception of the institution's stakeholders has shifted.

The uniqueness of the study and the research model developed for the project have recently received international recognition from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). The prestigious Jack Whittmer Research Award was presented to the university on 9 June 2014 during the Excellence Awards Gala of the association's world conference held in Toronto, Canada.

Read the full release (pdf)

 

 

Issued by: Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584 or +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27(0)51 444 6393

 

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