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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

New computer centre
2007-05-15

Attending the sod turning ceremony of the University of the Free State's (UFS) new computer centre were, from the left: Mr Abraham Makhalanyane (Director of Sikeyi Construction), Prof. Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS) and Mr Johann Ströhfeldt (Director of Ströhfeldt Construction Group). The centre, which will host about 815 computers, will be erected in a joint venture between the two construction companies.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
 

UFS gets new computer centre

The first sod of a new computer centre which will host about 815 computers was turned on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein today.

The computer centre, which will be situated next to the UFS Sasol Library, will have various state-of-the-art computer laboratories. This is the first new building to be built on the Main Campus since the student centre, Thakaneng Bridge, and will be erected at a total project cost of R19 million.

“The computer centre is an important addition to our strategy to promote e-learning and is a sign of the new era of blended learning which students are now practicing,” said Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, during the sod-turning ceremony.

According to Prof. Fourie the building will address students’ need for available computers. “All our students do not have a computer to assist them with their studies. The centre will empower them to complete their studies successfully and will provide them with the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment,” said Prof. Fourie.

“Various laboratories for among others group work, as well as laboratories where students can work in a quiet environment on individual assignments will be established. Rooms for classes where a computer is a prerequisite to students as well as rooms for examinations, tests and practical sessions will be provided,” said Prof. Fourie.

The computers will not only comprise of traditional programmes, but rooms with programmes for open learning will also be established. Subject specific software will be installed in certain rooms to enable students to obtain a good knowledge of the subject fields.

The computer centre, which will be open seven days a week, will also be at the disposal of UFS staff.

“I am looking forward to this development on the Main Campus. It will be a thrill to see more than 800 students studying in the computer laboratories,” said Prof. Fourie.

The building will be erected in a joint venture between Ströhfeldt Construction Group and Sikeyi Construction, a black empowerment company. Mr Abraham Makhalanyane, Director of Sikeyi Construction, thanked the UFS for the opportunity to be involved with a project of this magnitude. “A project like this is a great responsibility and I am looking forward to work with a team of experts,” he said. Mr Johann Ströhfeldt, Director of Ströhfeldt Construction Group, said: “We have been working with the UFS on construction projects for more than 25 years. I believe that this project will also contribute to the pride and glory of the UFS.”

The expected completion date of the computer centre is May 2008.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
14 May 2007
 

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