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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 online journal repository launched during research week
2016-08-03

Description: Open access Tags: Open access

Open Access core team.

The annual research week marked the official launch of KovsieJournals published on KovsieScholar, the UFS output repository.  Library and information Services and the office of the Vice Rector: Research, Prof Corli Witthuhn, hosted the week-long events of 26-29 July 2016 on the Bloemfontein Campus. 

KovsieScholar is the UFS’s research repository that collects, preserves, and distributes open access digital material. It is an important tool for preserving the university’s legacy, facilitating digital preservation and scholarly communication. It aims to increase the university’s global visibility, the impact and profiles of its researchers, and contribute to the preservation and sharing of knowledge. Currently, it holds journals published since 2010.

The main launch event of 27 July was opened at the Equitas Building’s Senate Hall by Mr Charlie Molepo, Deputy-Director: LIS Research and Scholarly Communications, who also presented the project background.  Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector said it is a great initiative that will allow anyone to have access to UFS research outputs anywhere in the world, something he is glad to see happening during his term.

A roundtable discussion brought together more than ten senior professors and heads of department to explore topics such as Open Access and its benefits and pitfalls, centralisation of institutional research output, and the future publishing platform of KovsieJournals, amongst others.  Research Week will end with training for Open Access and Centre for Teaching and Learning’s core teams.

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