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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

Getting out of the dark
2015-06-10

 

ESKOM is making daily announcements on the status of the power grid.

Anton Calitz, Electrical Engineer at University Estates, is in continuous contact with Eskom and Centlec in an effort to stay abreast of load shedding.

According to Anton, Eskom has recently - the week of 20 April - been focusing on the evening peak, and has announced STAGE 1 load shedding from 17:00-22:00; thus, the Bloemfontein Campus should be able to continue business as usual during the day, except for Thursdays from 18:00 and, possibly, Fridays from 17:00.

Where can I get more information about load shedding stages?

Apart from Eskom’s webpage, staff can also visit GRID WATCH. Click on "Search", then under "Schedules". Look for "Mangaung Local Municipality", and select "GROUP 4". Save this location. “This can even be loaded onto your mobile device.”

“The time slots can be seen for a couple of days in advance, to allow us to plan around the possibility of load shedding in our daily lives,” said Anton.

Please note: ESKOM can change the STAGE level at any time. Therefore, keep an eye on GRID WATCH and News24.

View the typical seven-day planner for the Bloemfontein Campus (Group 4), which indicates the STAGE 2 and 3 possibilities. Take note that, on some days, the STAGE 2 and 3 time slots are the same.

More load shedding tips: Your IT needs

The UFS Data Centre (Computer Room) is fully serviced by a generator facility, and can function without external power supply for a few days.

The generator servicing the UFS data centre does NOT provide power to the outlying facilities. This implies that all digital equipment at gates, booms, and access points will be shut down until the power is restored to these facilities. “We are now, in collaboration with Nico Janse van Rensburg, in a process to install UPS facilities at these points, which will ensure two to three hours of power supply at these points, even during load shedding,” said Dr Vic Coetzee, Senior Director: ICT Services.

No Wi-Fi will be available, as it is dependent on the power supply to the buildings where it is installed.

All servers are contained in the data centre, and will be kept running by our generators.

How to manage load shedding and your IT needs:

1. Get into the habit of saving your work regularly on computer so that you don’t lose your work/files during load shedding.
2. Back up important data. Keep to a schedule of regular back-up.  Make sure your computer back-ups are safe and recoverable.
3. Keep all electronic devices charged and ready to run on battery power. Keep your cellphone charged: some old-style Telkom landlines will still operate during power outages, but others won't.
4. Remember, when power supply is restored, it sometimes happens that a power surge is sent through the network, which will damage your computer.  Fortunately, laptop computers will not suffer this fate as their power is provided through an external power pack. Often, this power pack will be damaged, but not the laptop itself.
5. It makes good sense to reboot your computer daily, not only in terms of power shedding, but also in terms of updating the drivers, software, etc.
6. Switch off all computers and other electrical equipment at the wall plug overnight and on weekends.
7. Should your IT equipment not switch on after a power outage, log a call with the ICT Services. You can also call them at x2000.

More information, guidelines and contact numbers

 

 

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