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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 discontinues one Masters programme
2006-07-26

As from next year, the University of the Free State (UFS) will no longer offer one of its specialist master’s degrees in education – the M Ed in Education Management.

 The other six M Ed programmes that are currently being offered at the UFS will continue as normal.

 The decision to discontinue one of the M Ed programmes follows a national review of M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

 Of the 23 tertiary institutions whose M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership were reviewed by the HEQC, only 7 received full accreditation.   

 “The findings of the HEQC affect only one of our M Ed degree programmes, namely the M Ed in Educational Management,” said Prof Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS

 “We will be paying full attention to the findings of the HEQC with a view to correcting some of the shortcomings that have been identified by the HEQC and will consider submitting a reviewed proposal for such a qualification in two years time,” she said.

 According to Prof Fourie, the programme currently has 30 students enrolled.  “These students – spread across their first and second years of the degree programme – will be allowed to complete their studies with the full support of the UFS and the School of Education,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The qualification that has been awarded to students who have already completed their studies for this specific M Ed in Education Management degree programme remains a valid qualification and is not affected by the HEQC review,” said Prof Fourie.

 She said the UFS welcomed the efforts of the HEQC to ensure that all academic programmes offered by higher education institutions meet certain standards.

“One of the primary problem areas in the M Ed in Educational Management offered by the UFS identified by the HEQC, was that the programme is too practice orientated and must be more theoretical to comply with the academic requirements of a master’s degree.  This was a result of the fact that the programme was initially compiled in consultation with principals and the provincial Department of Education to address their needs,” said Prof Fourie.

“The UFS will in the mean time offer an advanced certificate in Educational Management and Leadership from next year.  This is a new course that will stretch over a period of two years and will ensure that we can still address the needs of teachers and principals,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The UFS remains committed to providing top quality degree programmes in all its six faculties and will continue to work with the HEQC in ensuring that this actually happens,” said Prof Fourie.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
25 July 2006

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