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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

Prof Neil Heideman awarded a Fellowship
2006-07-25

Prof Neil Heideman, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), was  awarded the Fulbright Senior Researcher Fellowship to visit the laboratory of Prof Jack Sites, a fellow herpetologist at Brigham Young University, Utah, in the United States of America (USA), from October 2006-January 2007.

The Fulbright programme is a flagship programme of the government of the USA which focuses on the exchange of international experts in a variety of educational activities such as advanced research and university lecturing.

Prof Heideman will use the opportunity to develop an understanding of the application of micro satellites (short repetitive sequences in DNA molecules) to population genetics questions.  In recent years  micro satellites have become the marker of choice for measuring genetic variability in populations. Prof Sites has extensive experience in the application of the technique and is therefore an ideal candidate to spend time with. Although not new to South Africa, the country's  capacity in the use of micro satellites is still very limited, being essentially non-existent among herpetologists.

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