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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

UFS academic appointed to prestigious academy (ASSAf)
2014-10-07

Another academic of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Jeanet Conradie, professor in Chemistry, was invited as newly elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).Science and research, by which new concepts are discovered, is her great passion.

Her PhD degree in Chemistry, together with also a strong background in Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, influenced Prof Conradie’s choice of research interest and expertise to develop gradually in the direction of computational chemistry, which is a beautiful combination of chemistry and physics.

Computational chemistry uses quantum physical principles and mathematical methods to solve chemistry problems via high-performance computerised calculations. Results obtained can be used to predict and understand the behaviour of atoms and molecules in the real world. Chemical reactions and phenomena that are impossible or too dangerous to study experimentally, can also be studied by computational chemistry. Her research team also does experimental laboratory work to combine and compare with the computational analysis. Based on these results, new materials with specific properties are developed.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) aspires to be the apex organisation for science and scholarship in South Africa, recognised and connected both nationally and internationally. Through its membership which represents the collective voice of the most active scholars in all fields of scholarly enquiry, ASSAf aims to generate evidence-based solutions to national problems.

Prof Corli Witthuhn: Vice-Rector: Research at the UFS said: “The UFS is very proud of Prof Conradie, who is also the first female professor in the Department of Chemistry.  Jeanet is a highly productive researcher publishing in high-impact journals.  She has extensive international networks and collaborations, increasing the impact of her work even more.  We are currently awaiting the outcome of her application for NRF rating and believe that she will receive an excellent rating.”


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