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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

SADoCoL receives partial reinstatement of blood sample testing by the World Anti-Doping Agency
2016-08-22

Last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced the lifting of the suspension of blood sample analysis by the South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) at the University of the Free State (UFS). Although the suspension of urine sample analysis is still under review, the UFS is appreciative of the new outcome. The initial temporary suspension of SADoCoL, announced on 3 May 2016, included the suspension of all doping-control procedures which applied to both urine and blood samples.

The main reason for the suspension involved analytical techniques relevant to urine analysis; however, the testing of blood samples was also included in the suspension. At the time of the suspension, no adverse findings were reported for the laboratory in relation to blood-sample testing for Athlete Blood Passport (ABP) assessment. 

According to the agreement with WADA, the suspension period would be utilised to implement and test new systems in order to achieve the standard presently required by WADA, as well as to perform development and improvements. SADoCoL is a specialised service laboratory of the UFS and has been in existence for more than thirty years.

Upon SADoCoL’s request to lift the suspension of only the ABP analysis, WADA agreed to allow the laboratory to apply for reaccreditation.  SADoCoL immediately applied for reaccreditation of ABP analysis on blood, so that the laboratory would be allowed to at least offer this service to the Anti-Doping community in Africa.

For this purpose, inspections were performed by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) and by WADA, during which all aspects of blood analysis by the laboratory were thoroughly assessed and tested.  The successful outcome of these inspections resulted in the reaccreditation of SADoCoL by WADA in order to perform ABP analysis as required by the WADA International Standard for Laboratories, with effect from 4 August 2016. 

This outcome allows the laboratory to once again perform this very essential analytical procedure.  The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and other regular users can now continue to send blood samples to SADoCoL for ABP analysis, instead of making use of alternative laboratories.

 

Released by: Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Tel: +27 51 401 3422/2707 or +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za  | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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