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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

One, two, three – is your thesis done?
2016-08-26

Description: three-minute-thesis  Tags: three-minute-thesis

Winners of the UFS Three-Minute-Thesis competition.
From the left: Thutukile Jita, Natural/Social Sciences
PhD winner; Saheed Sabiu, Natural/Health Sciences
and audience-favourite PhD winner;
Matseliso Mkotywa, master’s audience-favourite
winner; Zingisile Mbo, Natural/Health Sciences
master’s winner.
Photo: Charl Devenish

“Next time you have three minutes to spare, try to formulate your master’s or doctoral thesis,” says Dr Henriëtte van den Berg, Director of the Postgraduate School at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The much anticipated Three-Minute-Thesis (3MT) Competition took place at the UFS Bloemfontein Campus on Friday 19 August 2016. Diverse and interesting research projects were discussed, giving one a glimpse into months and even years of hard work and dedication.

A learning opportunity for candidates
The 3MT competition is an international event founded at the University of Queensland, Australia. It is divided into master’s and PhD categories.  At the UFS competition, the master’s section was dominated by the Medical and Natural Sciences, in contrast with the PhD section’s focus on Social Sciences. “The competition is a learning opportunity for our UFS candidates,” says Dr Henriëtte van den Berg.

Thought-provoking research presented
Interesting methodologies and research questions sustained the academic excellence the candidates pride themselves in. Saheed Sabiu, PhD candidate and winner, constructed his thesis around, Waste to Health: Corn silk in the Management of Kidney Diseases. “Use corn silk (white fibre around corn) in the same manner as a tea bag, to help manage kidney diseases,” says Sabiu.

Audience members also had the opportunity to ask the candidates questions relating to their thesis topic.

Winners at the event:
•    Master’s winner: Zingisile Mbo
•    PhD winner: Natural/ Health Science: Saheed Sabiu
•    PhD winner: Natural/Social Sciences: Thutukile Jita

The winners of each category received a cash prize and will represent the UFS at the national 3MT competition, hosted by the UFS in November this year.

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