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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

SA-YSSP strengthens academic partnerships between countries
2014-11-17

 

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi
Photo: Stephen Collett

Students from all over the world and all walks of life have come together at the Bloemfontein Campus to take part in the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) hosted by our university.

This prestigious academic programme is an annual three-month education, academic training and research capacity development programme. The programme is presented in collaboration with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) as well as the National Research Foundation.

Dr Priscilla Mensah, Director of the SA-YSSP, says this programme’s Doctoral candidates are given the opportunity to advance their research under the direct supervision of senior scientists from South Africa and IIASA.

“In line with international trends in doctoral education, the SA-YSSP seeks to advance not only the discipline-specific research skills of the young scientists, but also equip and expose scholars to an array of additional competencies and skills required to be successful in knowledge-driven societies,” Dr Mensah says.

During her keynote address, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, praised the UFS for hosting this successful programme for the third year. “The success of this programme shows in the increase in applicants internationally but specifically in our SADEC regions.”

She said that solutions to the problems in the world require a wide variety of knowledge and integrated approaches to the unique challenges in different countries.

Deputy Minister Magwaza-Msibi also regards the SA-YSSP as a very successful platform to strengthen partnerships with countries.

 

 

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