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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

Prototype film degree introduced for Kovsies
2015-06-11

 

As of 2015, the university’s postgraduate prospectus was modified to include a new Bachelor of Arts Honours in Film and Visual Media course in the Faculty of the Humanities.

A group of eight pilot students are being exposed to basics studies in film history, research, and practical production exercises. The programme’s prototypical nature lies in its inter-disciplinary approach, which means students will integrate film history and theory with individual short film production. 

According to the Programme Committee, “the two parts enrich each other, so students’ practical work is conceptually much stronger, and their written work is more balanced.”

“While other universities locally and abroad do offer film qualifications, the emphasis usually falls on either the history and theory of film, or the making of films.  Our programme is the only one in South Africa (that we know of) that offers this specific kind of integration.”

Chris Vorster, Dr Anthea van Jaarveld, Prof Helene Strauss, and Johanet Kriel are responsible for lecturing, and providing personalised supervision to students. These lecturers form part of a Programme Committee, which also includes Prof Annie van den Oever, Cloete DeBeer, and Martin Rossouw.

The university has built a multi-camera studio, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, editing facilities, and an intimate movie theatre to facilitate a thorough teaching and learning process.

Rethabile Radebe, one of the students, says she values the teaching approach of the lecturers, highlighting the positive impact of constructive criticism they offer. “My self-confidence is much better so I think, even though they help you academically for you to get your grades correctly, they also help you as a person. When you’ve done well, they don’t forget to tell you.”

This student’s views run parallel to Kriel’s, which are to “help students to perform at their best, and to develop and align our curriculum better for next year,” when an additional seven students are to be accommodated. The university, in collaboration with the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, is modelling the curriculum to ensure holistic film education. 

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