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19 March 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Thabo Kessah
Thokozile Thulo
Thokozile Thulo says the UFS has changed its focus in supporting students with disabilities.

The Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has recently opened a permanent office on the Qwaqwa Campus The centre aims to ensure that the University of the Free State increasingly becomes a universally accessible higher-education institution which embraces students with various disabilities.

Thokozile Thulo, CUADS Assistant Officer at Qwaqwa said: “Our focus has changed from ‘special’ accommodation for individuals to the creation of a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering to all students. Integrated learning and education methodologies and processes are being researched and developed to create more awareness among lecturing staff. This incorporates universal design, faculty instruction and curricula.” 

The CUADS office assists students to gain access to study courses, learning materials, various buildings and residences, computer facilities and specialised exams and tests. For visually-impaired students, study material and textbooks in Braille, audio, e-text or enlarged format are provided. 

The office also supports students with various psychosocial and chronic conditions such as epilepsy and panic disorder, as well as learning difficulties such as dyslexia and hyperactivity. “In addition, we support students with special arrangements such as extra time for tests and exams,” said Thokozile.



News Archive

University publishes its Integrated Report
2013-08-23

23 August 2013

The university is proud to have published an integrated report in line with the King III requirements on corporate governance. The university is one of the first universities – if not the first – in South Africa to do so. The UFS sees integrated reporting as a public process through which we report to all our stakeholders, using evidence-based data, on the achievements and challenges of a public university.

Our first Integrated Report reviews the overall performance, non-financial and financial, of the UFS for the 2012 academic year. It is the first report of its kind delivered to stakeholders and guided by the King III framework which recommends integrated, sustainable performance that is reported in a way that enables stakeholders to make an informed assessment of an institution.

The Integrated Report notes that the conditions under which higher education institutions operate have become more demanding in the last two decades and there is a growing need for universities to be more explicit and transparent about the manner in which their core functions (teaching, research and public duty), as well as its administrative operations, are defined by and support good governance, sustainability and corporate citizenship.

The university welcomes this opportunity to present in public an integrated account of itself. In particular, the UFS sees this report as an opportunity to align more strongly its financial and non-financial reporting in pursuit of organisational sustainability and social transformation in South Africa.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, notes in the report that in the past four years the university has made significant progress in respect of its two foundational commitments, the Academic Project and the Human Project.

There are now more students entering the university who satisfy the higher requirements set for admission. “This will improve the throughput and graduation rates of incoming students, ensuring their personal success and satisfaction with higher education.” The establishment of a state-of-the-art Postgraduate School, for example, is expected to increase the number, quality and success rates of postgraduate students.

The research output has increased steadily and the contribution of the new Senior Professors project, as well as the five research clusters, have helped to improve the quality of research and the spread of postgraduate recruitment beyond South Africa.

On transformation, the Vice-Chancellor observes that “We have made significant progress in building inclusive, democratic and embracing campus cultures which affirm the value and dignity of all students and staff. With the steady increase of black students in a majority black campus, our goal remains to retain our diversity in a university that serves as an experiment in teaching students to live and learn and love together.”

Financial sustainability is a major commitment and the UFS has not only maintained its record of unqualified audits, but has steadily built a culture of risk management and performance evaluation throughout the system. Internal auditing is a strong instrument in our arsenal to secure financial and operational compliance in every department of the university.

“What integrates the systems and functions of the university is the alignment of everything we do with our two pillars, the Academic and Human Projects, built on a solid foundation of professional support services as described in the Strategic Plan adopted in 2012. In the process of preparing the Integrated Report we discovered how much still needs to be done to align the still disparate and independent activities of the three campuses, seven faculties and more than 100 departments of this large university,” according to the Vice-Chancellor.

The report is available at: http://www.ufs.ac.za/content.aspx?id=184.

 

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