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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

Prof Melanie Walker to spearhead international organisation
2014-06-02

 
Prof Melanie Walker has just added another phenomenal achievement to her illustrious academic career. Members of the international Human Development and Capabilities Association (HDCA) have elected her to the leading role of Vice-President.

Founded in 2004 by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, the HDCA is a global community of academics and practitioners. Together, they seek to build an intellectual community around the ideas of human development and the capability approach. Ultimately, the association strives to drive these ideas into the policy arena.

With members living in over 70 countries world-wide, the HDCA promotes research across a wide field of disciplines. These range from economics, philosophy and development studies to health, education, law, government, sociology and more.

In her new role, Prof Walker will be working closely with the renowned philosopher, Prof Henry Richardson of Georgetown University, USA. He is currently President-elect of the association. “My election as Vice-President will enable me to work closely with Henry and the Executive Committee to build on the first successful decade of the association to strengthen its reach and responsiveness to researchers, practitioners and policy makers,” Prof Walker says. “It is a tremendous honour to have been elected and a wonderful challenge for the next three years, personally and professionally. It will also place a significant spotlight on the human development and capabilities research I am leading at the UFS.”

Annually, the HDCA organises an international conference. This year celebrates a decade of successful symposiums and will take place in Athens. Eight Kovsie graduate students and researchers from the UFS’s Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development have had their papers accepted.

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