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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

SAFOS seeks to integrate folklore studies into education
2015-10-15

From the left are: Bahedile Letlala, Dr Elias Malete, Hannetjie du Toit, Dr Sara Motsei, Dr Edwin Mohatlane and Prof Mogomme Masoga.

The University of the Free State was proud to host the national conference of the Southern African Folklore Society which took place on 7-9 October 2015 on the Bloemfontein Campus. The focus of the conference was on how to integrate folklore studies into the 21st century.

Keynote speakers for the conference included Prof Antoinette Tidjani-Alou (Professor of French and Comparative Literature at University Abdou Moumouni), Prof Mogomme Alpheus Masoga (University of Venda), and Prof Mohlomi Moleleki (University of the Free State).

The speakers approached their subjects in great detail, tackling issues surrounding identity, social cohesion, and orality on the African context. One of the main co-ordinators of this event, Dr Elias Malete from the Department of African Languages at the UFS, highlighted one of the speaker’s topics, which focused on the importance of harnessing a collectivistic culture, as the African context does not entertain individualism. When asked about how such a conference fits into the UFS context, and where it could be applied, Malete mentioned the burning issue of the language policy review. He believes that: “The language should be inclusive, in as much as our theme says we cannot entertain individualistic approaches, but need to include everybody.” This is achieved through working with the Language Departments,” he said.

In particular, the topic presented by Prof Moleleki from the Department of African Languages, explored how the self-perception of an African, both as an integral member of his society as well as an independent individual, not only informs but also underpins his identity.

In all the topic discussed, the importance of coherence, transparency, and correctness was noted.

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