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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

Young language Einstein set for Europe
2017-07-10

Description: Young language Einstein set for Europe Tags: Recipient of UFS Senate medal receives Erasmus Mundus master’s bursary.  

Willem Carel Brink will be studying in France and Italy
for the next 
two years as part of his master’s
degree programme
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

German, French, English and even Latin are just a few of the languages known by Kovsies’ own language guru, Willem Carel Brink.

This arty junior lecturer and 2015 Senate and Dean’s medal recipient at the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State (UFS) received the Erasmus-Mundus bursary to conduct his master’s degree under the Erasmus Mundus Master en Cultures Littératures Européennes (CLE) title. He departs for Europe in September. “It is a structured interdisciplinary study which focuses on European literature, culture and other aspects,” Willem says. The subject for his thesis will be determined during the duration of the course.

Two-year course under Erasmus Mundus 
The Erasmus CLE master’s is a two-year course which is presented by five partner universities in France, Senegal, Italy and Greece. Students are expected to indicate at which universities they want to study but cannot spend both years at the same university. “France was my first choice, because I know the language – which was a prerequisite for selection,” said Willem. He is fluent in Afrikaans, English, German and French! 

“I will spend my second year in Bologna, Italy,” he said. It is therefore also expected that he does an Italian course during the first year to prepare him for the second year in Italy.

Future collaboration with UFS a prospect
Future collaborations between him and the language departments at the UFS are possible prospects for the future when he returns. “What makes this degree especially attractive to me is that it has value in terms of the local environment in the teaching of European languages and literature.” 

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