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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

Prof Steyn to receive Jan H Marais Prize in Stellenbosch
2017-05-09

Description: Prof Jaap Steyn  Tags: Prof Jaap Steyn

Prof Jaap Steyn, who started his career as
journalist at Volksblad, later entered the academy,
and was a professor at the University of the
Free State for many years.
Photo: Marthie Kemp

Although Prof Jaap Steyn will be honoured officially for his contribution to Afrikaans as an academic language at the end of this month, he only became aware of his nomination after he had won the award.

According to this research fellow in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State (UFS), he is grateful for the recognition. He has recently been awarded the Jan H Marais Prize for his outstanding contribution to Afrikaans.

Former Kovsie honoured together with Prof Jan van der Watt
According to a statement by the South African Academy for Science and Arts, the award was jointly made to Prof Steyn, who is probably the best-known South African language historian, and Prof Jan van der Watt van Nijmegen from the Netherlands. The prize money of R500 000, which they will share, will be presented in Stellenbosch on 30 May 2017.

Prof Steyn is a former Kovsie, who was a research professor at the UFS from 1985 to 1997, and at the age of 78 is still a research fellow. “After the announcement of the prize, I learnt that I was nominated by two of my colleagues,” he says.

His most difficult work was probably also his best

Over the past 50 years several of his publications, biographies, and books have seen the light. He believes that nothing one does is perfect. His most difficult work was the biography of NP van Wyk Louw. “It was probably also my best work,” he says. “The book I enjoyed working on most, was the biography of the author MER, or ME Rothmann.”

Prof Steyn has also received awards such as the Stals Prize, the Louis Hiemstra Prize, the NP van Wyk Louw medal, and honorary membership from the South African Academy for Science and Arts.

He says the staff in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French are very friendly and helpful to still render him assistance as a research fellow.


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