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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

Prestige Scholar hosts Prof John Helliwell of Manchester University
2015-12-08

From left is Prof John R. Helliwell (School of Chemistry, University of Manchester), Dr Madeleine Helliwell (School of Chemistry, University of Manchester), Prof Andre Roodt (Department of Chemistry, University of the Free State) and Dr Alice Brink (Department of Chemistry, University of the Free State).
Photo: Steven Collett

At the invitation of Dr Alice Brink of the Department of Chemistry, Prof John Helliwell, the 2015 Max Perutz Prize winner, and his wife, Dr Madeleine Helliwell, visited the University of the Free State (UFS).
The Helliwells, both chemists of note, took part in a series of lectures and exchanges on the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses.
This visit from 9-19 November 2015 was the consequence of Dr Brink’s participation in the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme (PSP) initiative to encourage the broadening of the international footprint of the next generation of scholars in the academy.

Two year collaboration

Dr Brink and Prof Helliwell from Manchester University have a standing collaboration going back two years. Dr Brink, an NRF Thuthuka grant holder and a member of the PSP since 2013, has spent almost eight months in Manchester, collaborating with Prof Helliwell on her study of the successful interaction of rhenium tricarbonyl complexes with proteins determined via protein crystallography.
Their collaboration resulted from the close association of Prof Helliwell and Prof Andre Roodt from the UFS Department of Chemistry, both former presidents of the European Crystallographic Association.

Sharing academic expertise

Prof Helliwell, the 2014 American Crystallographic Association Patterson Award winner for his “pioneering contributions to the global development of the instrumentation, methods and applications of synchrotron radiation in macromolecular crystallography”, gave three lectures in the Department of Chemistry, two on the Boemfontein Campus, and the other on the Qwaqwa Campus on 13 November 2015.

Dr Helliwell, former co-editor of the Acta Crystallographica Section C: Crystal Structure Communications journal, consulted with postgraduate students from the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

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