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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

Forensic investigation at UFS Computer Services division in final stage of finalisation
2007-02-01

Statement by prof Niel Viljoen, Chief Director: Operations  
 
The case in which possible irregularities were investigated at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Computer Services Division at the end of 2005, and which led to two Deputy Directors’ compulsory leave pending an investigation, is making good progress and is in the final stage of finalisation.
 
One of the Deputy Directors resigned unconditionally a day before his disciplinary hearing was to take place. He is one of two staff members who were placed on compulsory leave after an internal investigation ordered by the UFS management indicated possible irregularities in the division.
 
“As a result of the extent of the case and the involvement of more than one local business, the investigation had a long course,” said Prof Viljoen.
 
“The Deputy Director who resigned would have appeared before a disciplinary committee with Judge Joos Hefer as chairperson on charges of misconduct, involving more than R500 000,” said Prof Viljoen.
 
“We are going ahead with the process of criminal prosecution against this person and a docket was opened at the commerce branch of the South African Police Services (SAPS).  A civil action to recover damages from him was started,” Prof Viljoen said.
 
With a couple of exceptions, the internal disciplinary process of the other persons involved in the case is also finalised. “The disciplinary hearing of the Deputy Director, who is still in the service of the UFS’s Computer Services division, is scheduled for May 2007. This person is still on compulsory leave,” Prof Viljoen said.
 
“To demonstrate our commitment to the enhancement of honest work ethics and to give to personnel and students a mechanism to bring any unethical business practices to the attention of the UFS management, a fraud hotline was installed last year. The hotline is operated 24 hours a day for 365 days of the year by KPMG,” Prof Viljoen said.
 
Prof Viljoen thanked everyone who was involved in the investigation for their cooperation. This includes staff as well as people from outside the UFS.  “We are committed to transparent corporate management. Any possible irregularities will be investigated and if staff or students are found guilty of any irregular behaviour, strict actions would be taken against these persons,” Prof Viljoen said.
 
Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@mail.ufs.ac.za
2 February 2007
 

 

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