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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

Accreditation status of the UFS School of Medicine
2016-06-14

This communication is a factual correction of the misinformation and accompanying hysteria that appeared in a local newspaper this past week on the accreditation status of programmes in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ School of Medicine. Here are the facts:
 
1. The flagship programme of the School of Medicine, the MB ChB, was fully accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) through the year 2020. This is the maximum accreditation status that any programme can achieve, and the UFS leadership is extremely pleased with this outcome, as it expresses confidence in the work done by our academics in the School of Medicine. Not only was the basic medical training for new doctors fully accredited, the HPSCA approved an increase in the number of trainee doctors from 140 to 160, and also approved additional training sites in Trompsburg and Kimberley.
 
2. The honours programmes of the School of Medicine received full accreditation as well.
 
3. All the master’s degree programmes in the School of Medicine also received accreditation. The UFS is especially pleased with the significant improvements in the Department of Cardiology, which now has a full complement of staff under the leadership of the highly regarded cardiologist, Prof Makoali Makotoko.
 
4. Four master’s programmes received provisional accreditation, which means that (a) these programmes continue to be taught and (b) outstanding issues, such as inadequate staffing, must be fixed. It does not mean that these programmes will be or are likely to be discontinued.
 
5. It is a fact that staff retire or resign in all schools and departments of any university. It is also true that these departures offer opportunities to bring new academic and professional staff into the UFS. In fact, for the first time virtually every department in the School of Medicine now has a full-time Head of Department and 46 new staff were appointed since January 2015.
 
6. The main employer of academic staff in the School of Medicine is the provincial Department of Health (DoH), and the UFS works very closely and persistently with the Free State DoH to ensure that vacant posts are filled.
 
7. The attacks on the integrity of the outgoing Head of the School of Medicine were malicious. Prof Alan St Clair Gibson did not resign ‘overnight’; his departure has nothing to do with the accreditation status of the School – in fact, he can be proud of this achievement; and he effectively takes up a promotion post in New Zealand as academic Dean at the University of Waikato. Prof St Clair Gibson will be remembered for his leadership in transformation, especially regarding staff and student equity in the School of Medicine, and for securing our programme accreditation. For this, the university is deeply grateful.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27(0)51 401 2584 | +27(0)83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27(0)51 444 6393

 

 



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