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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

Odeion String Quartet receives international acclaim
2014-12-22

 

The Odeion String Quartet (OSQ) is a flagship of the UFS and symbolises the university’s commitment to the arts. Most recently, the OSQ walked away with the award for Best Classical Music Performance at the 2014 Kanna ceremony.

It was established in 1991 as a permanent full-time resident string quartet –   at present the only resident string quartet at a South African university – and functions as an independent academic department at the UFS.

The members of the quartet are Samson Diamond (leader and first violin), Sharon de Kock (violin), Jeanne-Louise Moolman (viola) and Anmari van der Westhuizen (cello). They have an extensive national and international background and are highly regarded in music circles as soloists and chamber musicians. The members of the quartet play an important strategic role in the development of symphony orchestra music and in classical music training in the Free State. They are exemplary teachers and attract students from all over the country. The Junior Odeion String Quartet and Odeion Sinfonia provide a unique chamber music training experience to selected students.

They regularly perform to critical acclaim in all the major music centres in South Africa, as well as in SADC countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia. During 2013 they performed at concerts in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, where they received standing ovations and very positive reviews.

The quartet is also set on giving back to musical communities around the country, with workshops offering guidance on playing techniques and life-skills that are essential for young people who intend to pursue a career in the music sector.

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