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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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University of Vermont bestows honorary doctorate upon Prof Jansen
2014-05-30

 
Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Jonathan Jansen, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Vermont (UVM). This special event took place on 18 May 2014 at a graduation ceremony in Vermont, USA.

Prof Jansen was honoured for the outstanding work he has done through various initiatives in South Africa and abroad. The University of Vermont especially highlighted the Leadership for Change programme, which sent two cohorts of first- year students from the UFS to UVM. This resulted in long-lasting ties between the students and staff of both institutions. "I am delighted and humbled by the international recognition for the work of the UFS and my small role in it," Prof Jansen said.

Prof Jansen was one of seven recipients of an honorary degree. One of these recipients was Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet.

The UVM honorary doctorate citation reads, “Jonathan David Jansen is a leading public intellectual in South Africa renowned for his passionate dedication to education, social justice and the process of reconciliation. As Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), his leadership and his pioneering work is creating unity in the diverse academic community and transforming the atmosphere on campus. As an international expert, a leader in higher education, a scholar and a teacher, Professor Jansen works to inspire and educate the next generation of global leaders.”

In 2010 Prof Jansen received an honorary doctorate in Education from the Cleveland State University, also in the USA.

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