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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

Phemelo crowned Miss Free State 2017
2017-06-09

Description:Mej Vrystaat, Phemelo Lekale Tags: Mej Vrystaat, Phemelo Lekale

Phemelo Lekale, a second-year BCom Accounting
student at the University of the Free State, is the
newly crowned Miss Free State 2017.
Photo: Wiaan Coffee Photography

“To me, this pageant is about empowering young women. It helped me realise my strengths and weaknesses; it taught me how I can overcome my weaknesses and use my strengths to the best of my ability.”

This is exactly what second-year BCom Accounting student Phemelo Lekale sets out to do during her reign as Miss Free State 2017.

Bring about change and make a difference

The Miss Free State pageant aims in assisting young women to reach out to their communities and charities to bring about change. The pageant also aims to make a difference in somebody’s life.

Phemelo, who takes over from last year’s Kovsie winner Mienke van Rooyen, said that she needed to grow and learn as an individual, and that is exactly what the Miss Free State platform gave her.

Excited about the opportunities lying ahead

When the announcement was made, Phemelo was filled with so many mixed emotions she only realised she was the new Miss Free State when Mienke handed over the sash. “It felt like someone was saying ‘yes, I believe in you and the vision that you proposed to bring to the table’.”

Phemelo said she was excited about the opportunities that came with being Miss Free State and the impact that this brand would have on society. “By the end of my reign, I won’t be the same woman I was when I entered and neither will I be the same woman I was when I won the crown.”

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