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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 Council unanimously approves two senior appointments
2014-11-24

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously approved the appointment of Dr Lis Lange as Vice-Rector: Academic and Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo as Dean: Education during its meeting on Friday 21 November 2014.

Dr Lis Lange is currently Acting Vice-Rector: Academic at the University of the Free State, where she holds a substantive position as Senior Director heading the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP). Prof Mahlomaholo is Head of the School of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology Education at the UFS.

“These are two exceptional and trusted academics with international stature and I am delighted to welcome them as part of the senior leadership of the UFS. Dr Lange’s skills set pertaining to academic management and quality assurance make her one of only a few people with similar skills in the country, while Prof Mahlomaholo is a leading expert in community-based education,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

Dr Lange joined the UFS in 2011. Before this, she was the Executive Director (2006-2010) of the Higher Education Quality Committee of the Council of Higher Education (CHE), and Acting CEO of the same organisation between August 2007 and April 2008. She has been involved in the development and implementation of science and technology and higher education policy in South Africa for a decade and a half, working in different capacities in the Human Sciences Research Council, the National Research Foundation and the Council on Higher Education. Dr Lange has served as a member of the board of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and has participated in several international initiatives on quality assurance. She is the editor of an academic journal focused on the humanities, Acta Academica.

She has undertaken research and published in the fields of history, higher education and quality assurance. Her major concern in both research and practice is the role of higher education in the development of democratic societies, based on social justice. Dr Lange studied in Argentina, Mexico and South Africa, where she obtained a PhD in South African history from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Prof Mahlomaholo is a graduate of the Universities of the North, Western Cape and Harvard University in the United States. He is a National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated Professor of Education.

Before joining the UFS, he worked at six other universities where he was Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Education (UNIN-QwaQwa), Head of Professional Education (Vista University), Professor and Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies (MEDUNSA), Professor and Director of Curriculum Development (Central University of Technology), and Research Professor (North-West University).

His research interests lie in designing strategies mounted on Bricolage, Participatory Action Research and Critical Emancipatory Research as theoretical bases. He leads the NRF-sponsored project on the creation of Sustainable Learning Environments in schools. In this Participatory Action Research project, 28 PhD and 22 MEd students participate under the guidance of 15 academics. The project has relationships with the Global Network project (St Petersburg University), the Post-Colonial Education project (West Indies University) and the Discourse, Power, Resistance project (Plymouth University and now University of London). He has served as guest editor in the following ISI-indexed, peer-reviewed and accredited journals: the South African Journal of Higher Education (2010 and 2014), the South African Journal of Education (2011), Communitas (2012), the Journal of New Generation Sciences (2012), the Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa (2013) and the Journal of Education Studies (2013).

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