Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Guidelines for diminishing the possible impact of power interruptions on academic activities at the UFS
2008-01-31

The Executive Management of the UFS resolved to attempt to manage the possible impact of power interruptions on teaching and learning proactively. Our greatest challenge is to adapt to what we cannot control at present and, as far as possible, refrain from compromising the quality of teaching and learning at the UFS.

First the following realities are important:

  • There is no clarity regarding the period of disruption. It is possible that it may last for a few months to approximately five years.
  • At present Eskom (as well as Centlec) is not giving any guarantees that the scheduled interruptions will be adhered to. It comes down to this that the power supply may be interrupted without notice, but can also be switched back on in an unpredictable manner.
  • Certain scheduled teaching-learning activities/classes, etc. may (initially) be affected very negatively, as the UFS is working according to a scheduled weekly module timetable at present.
  • During the day certain venues with natural lighting and ventilation may remain suitable for contact sessions, while towards evening venues will no longer be suitable for the presentation of classes.
  • Lecturers will have to fall back on tried and tested presentation methods not linked to electricity, without neglecting innovative technology-linked presentation methods, or will have to schedule alternative teaching-learning activities for lost teaching-learning time.

Against the background of the above-mentioned realities, we secondly request you to comply with the following guidelines as far as possible:

  1.  In addition to your module work programme, develop an alternative programme (which can, for example, among others, consist of additional lectures or a more rapid work rate) in which provision is made for a loss of at least two weeks’ class/contact time during the semester. Consult Centlec’s schedule of foreseen power interruptions for this planning.
  2. Should it appear that your class(es) will probably be disrupted seriously by the scheduled power interruptions, you should contact your dean for possible rescheduling of your timeslot and a supplementary timetable. A prescheduled supplementary timetable for Friday afternoons and Saturdays and/or other suitable times will be compiled for this purpose in co-operation with faculties.
  3. The principle of equivalent educational treatment of day and evening lectures must be maintained at all times. Great sensitivity must be shown by, for instance, not only rescheduling the lectures of evening students - given specifically the sensitivity regarding language and the distribution of day and evening lectures.
  4. In the case of full-time undergraduate courses, no lectures should be cancelled beforehand, even when a power interruption is announced, as power interruptions sometimes do not take place or are of shorter duration than announced. If the power supply is interrupted, it should not be accepted that it will remain off and that subsequent lectures will not take place. Should a power interruption occur in a venue, lecturers and students must wait for at least ten minutes before the lecture is cancelled. Should natural lighting and ventilation make it possible to continue with the lecture, it should be done.
  5. Our point of departure is that no student must be able to use the power interruptions and non-presentation/cancellation of lectures as an argument for having failed modules, for poor academic performance or to negotiate for a change of examination scheduling.

Thirdly we wish to make suggestions regarding teaching and learning strategies (which can be especially useful in case of a power interruption).

  • Emphasise a greater measure of self-activity (self-initiative) on the part of students in this unpredictable environment right from the start.
  • Also emphasise the completion of assessment assignments in good time, so that students cannot use power interruptions as an excuse for late submission. Flexibility will, however, have to be maintained.
  • Place your PowerPoint presentations and any other supplementary learning materials on the web.
  • Use the opportunity to stimulate buzz groups, group work, panel discussions and peer evaluation.

Please also feel free to consult Dr Saretha Brussow, Head: Teaching, Learning and Assessment Division at the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development, about alternative teaching, learning and assessment strategies. Phone extension x2448 or send an email to sbrussow.rd@ufs.ac.za .

Thank you for your friendly co-operation!

Prof. D. Hay
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept