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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

Ranks of NRF researchers at Qwaqwa Campus strengthened
2014-11-03



From the left are: Profs Birhanu Dejene, Oriel Thekisoe, Drs Aliza le Roux and Geofrey Mukwada. (Prof Riaan Luyt was absent due to being abroad.)
Photo: Thabo Kessah
The list of researchers at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) was strengthened with the addition of Dr Geofrey Mukwada, who will have recognition as established researcher (C) from 2015.

Mukwada is working in the Department of Geography. His research focus is rural livelihoods, sustainable rural livelihoods, conservation of natural resources and climate change.

A total of 119 UFS researchers currently have evaluation and rating status from the NRF, says Nico Benson, Deputy Director: Research Development. Currently (October 2014) 29 researchers are still waiting for response from the NRF regarding applications submitted. A total of 16 ratings are already known. Ratings are valid for a period of six years and researchers are invited to apply for re-evaluation in the fifth year.

On the Qwaqwa Campus, Profs Riaan Luyt and Birhanu Dejene enjoy status as established (C) researchers – Prof Luyt in polymer nano-composites and polymer compounds and Prof Dejene in solar energy (photovoltaic).

Dr Aliza le Roux and Prof Oriel Thekiso are recognised as promising young (Y) researchers. Dr le Roux’s research focus is behavioural ecology, predator-prey interaction, spatial cognition, cognitive ecology, communication, zoology, individual-based modelling, animal behaviour (primates, carnivore biology) and socio-biology (mammals).  

Prof Thekisoe is conducting research on applied molecular diagnostics, ectoparasites, blood parasites, helminthology, molecular parasitology, entomology and parasitology, veterinary parasitology, parasitological techniques, host-parasite interaction and zoonosis.

These researchers are proud export products of the University of the Free State.


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