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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

Weak states and armed movements – researching the underlying links
2014-08-28

 

Prof Theo Neethling is conducting research on armed movements in the DRC.
Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Prof Theo Neethling from the Department of Political Studies and Governance is currently conducting research on armed movements in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“My research is premised on the scholarly insight and argument that in weak states, such as the DRC, armed movements and militias are filling power vacuums that are the result of the inability and lack of military capacity to fight these movements effectively,” Prof Neethling says.

“In this context, the DRC is severely affected by sub-state terrorism,” he continues.

“This is a phenomenon that is intimately linked to the failure to effect sustained development and to consolidate accountable and effective governance in especially the eastern provinces of the country.”

Earlier this year, Prof Neethling presented conference papers on this topic at two international conferences: the Conference of the New York State Political Science Association, as well as the World International Studies Conference hosted in Frankfurt, Germany.

In 2013, Prof Neethling co-edited the book, ‘Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa: Concepts, Policy, Role-players and Practice’. He completed this work in collaboration with Prof Heidi Hudson from the UFS Centre for Africa Studies.

“The book revolves around the concept of ‘post-conflict’ and the blurring of military and civilian roles, analysing the multiple roles of the United Nations in the DRC and Sierra Leone, as well as the African Union Mission in Burundi,” Prof Neethling says.

“It also explores South Africa’s foreign policy imperatives in relation to multinational peace missions in conflict-stricken African states, involving military as well as civilian role-players.” 
 
 
 
 
 

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