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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

Young researcher from UFS on SAYAS executive committee
2014-10-28



Dr Aliza le Roux
Photo: Sonia Small
Dr Aliza le Roux from the Department of Zoology and Entomology on the UFS’s Qwaqwa Campus is one of ten young scientists who was recently inaugurated as a new member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). Not only was she inducted into the society this past October, but she was also elected to serve on the executive committee for SAYAS.

Dr Le Roux’s research focus is on cognitive ecology, behavioural ecology and zoology. She has expressed her excitement about the new position, and is already developing new ideas with her new colleagues on drawing more young people into the South African scientific community.

This position provides a regional and international platform to raise the profile of science in general, and Le Roux hopes to be active in SAYAS’s new mentorship collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences, and to introduce new methods of scientific outreach using social media. Inspired by the students on the Qwaqwa Campus, Dr Le Roux hopes to specifically target relatively isolated rural campuses in SAYAS’s activities.

Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research at the UFS, said, “Aliza le Roux is an outstanding young scientist on our Qwaqwa Campus. I am very excited about the young researchers on our Qwaqwa Campus with Aliza as one of the leaders, and I am looking forward to what else they can achieve in the next five years.”

SAYAS was launched in October 2011 with 20 founding members as a mechanism to propel South Africa’s young scientists to fully participate in relevant local and international research and development agendas. It provides a national platform where leading young scholars from all disciplines in the country can interact, and also access international networking and career development opportunities.

SAYAS contributes primarily to the achievement of the national strategic priority of strengthening the skills and human-resource base of the country. Its particular niche is to focus on strengthening high-level skills among young scientists and the promotion of scientific excellence.


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