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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

Pres Steyn turns pink in anticipation of Vryfees
2014-06-06

Video clip
Live streaming
 

Australian artist Cigdem Aydemir vacuum packed the Pres Steyn monument on the Bloemfontein Campus’s Red Plain – in pink. Aydemir’s project, ‘Plastic Histories’, forms part of a public art project that encourages us to evaluate public monuments in their historical context. 

By vacuum packing monuments, Aydemir alludes to their significance and preservation. At the same time, though, it reveals the nature of their contentious and gendered historical function. This is because most monuments in post-colonial countries typically celebrate men’s achievements in serving their nations.

In response, this project acknowledges the contribution of women from all races, communities and sexual orientations to the grand narrative of a post-apartheid South Africa.

Aydemir is also developing an app in collaboration with Australian artist Warren Armstrong. This will be used for augmented reality viewing of three city monuments – those of President Brand, General De Wet and General Hertzog. This means that visitors will be able to hold a smart phone or iPad in front of the monuments and view the monuments as if vacuum packed in pink plastic.

In conjunction with the public art project there will be an exhibition of digitally manipulated photographs of nineteen-century and contemporary male monuments in Bloemfontein. These photos will be exhibited at the Johannes Stegmann Gallery at the UFS Sasol Library from 15 July – 1 August 2014.

Public tours on the Bloemfontein Campus and into the city will take place on:

• Tuesday 15 July at 11:00,
• Wednesday 16 July at 14:00, and
• Saturday 19 July at 11:00.

Aydemir’s ‘Plastic Histories’ public art project is part of the UFS Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD) and the Vryfees arts festival’s partnership with the Australian-based SituateArt in Festivals initiative. This partnership is managed by the Salamanca Arts Centre in Tasmania. 

Read more articles about this project:

POZIBLE launch (pdf document)
Media release: 17 June 2014: Art Stars Revealed (pdf document)
PIAD/PIKO - http://bit.ly/1gazQTV
OPENLab - http://bit.ly/1hzguUG
CAD Forum - http://bit.ly/1sNvtRB


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