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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

UFS Council adopts guidelines for the development of a new Language Policy
2015-12-04

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) adopted the following guidelines from the report by the Language Committee regarding the development of a new Language Policy for the UFS, based on the core values of inclusivity and multilingualism:

  1. that English becomes the primary medium of instruction in undergraduate education and, as largely exists already, in postgraduate education.
  2. that the UFS embeds and enables a language-rich environment committed to multilingualism, with particular attention to Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiZulu, and other languages represented on the three campuses.
  3. that an expanded tutorial system be available to especially first-year students in Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiZulu and other languages, in order to facilitate the transition to English instruction.
  4. that the parallel-medium policy continues in particular professional programmes, given the well-defined Afrikaans markets that, at the moment, still makes such language-specific graduate preparation relevant.
  5. that the language of administration be English.
  6. that the English-medium language policy be implemented with flexibility and understanding, rather than as a rigid rule disregarding the circumstances.

These guidelines were adopted at the Council meeting which took place on the Bloemfontein Campus on Friday 4 December 2015.

“This important and emotive matter was discussed in a high-quality, open debate and I am satisfied with the way the decision was reached,” says Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council.

The decision by Council comes after a mandate was given to the University Management on 4 June 2015 to conduct a review of the institutional Language Policy. A Language Committee was subsequently established by the University Management Committee (UMC) to undertake a comprehensive review of the existing parallel-medium policy and to make recommendations on the way forward with respect to the university's Language Policy.

The Language Committee conducted a comprehensive consultation process on the future of the Language Policy with all university stakeholders. This included multiple dialogue and submissions sessions, as well as an opinion poll on all three campuses.

Guided by the Council resolution of 4 December 2015, the UFS management will now proceed to design a Language Policy that would be presented to the UMC and Senate for voting purposes again, which vote would be formally presented to Council at one of its governance meetings in 2016. The Institutional Forum, a statutory body that represents all university stakeholders, would also advise Council at that stage, per its mandate, on the new Language Policy.

In the event that a new Language Policy is accepted by Council in 2016, the earliest possible date for implementation would be January 2017.


Related articles:

http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6567 (26 November 2015)
http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6540 (28 October 2015)
http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6521 (20 October 2015)
http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6469 (30 August 2015)
http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6444 (25 August 2015)

 

 

 

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