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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

Dr Henry Jordaan’s research to establish benchmarks for sustainable freshwater use in agri-food industries
2014-08-22

 

 Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Dr Henry Jordaan, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics, is working on a multi-disciplinary research project for the Water Research Commission. The project assesses the water footprints of selected agri-food products that are derived from field and forage crops produced under irrigation in South Africa. These foods include animal products, such as meat and dairy, and crop products such as bread and maize meal.

“The water footprint of a food product is the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the product, measured from the farm to the actual consumption of the food product. Thus, the water footprint is a good indicator of the impact that the consumption of a product has on our scarce freshwater resource. The agri-food sector is a major user of freshwater in South Africa with a relatively large water footprint,” says Dr Jordaan.

However, the agri-food sector also has an important role in economic development in South Africa. It generates income and employment opportunities along the value chains of the food products.

The challenge is to maximise the economic and social benefits from using freshwater in an environment where freshwater gets increasingly scarce.

Through his research, Dr Jordaan aims to establish benchmarks for sustainable freshwater use in selected agri-food industries – from an environmental, economic and social perspective. These benchmarks will inform water users on the acceptable volumes of freshwater to use to produce food products. It will also inform users of the economic and social benefits that they are being expected to generate through their actions so that their water use behaviour could be considered sustainable.


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