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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

75-year-old UFS student follows her dreams
2017-07-17

Description: Hanneke Meyer Tags: Theology, Theology and Religion, graduation, University of the Free State, Dr Hanneke Meyer 

Dr Hanneke Meyer, who graduated from the
University of the Free State, completed her
Bachelor’s degree in Theology
with distinction.
Photo: Siobhan Canavan

“It does not matter how old you are, it is all about where God wants to use you, and I believe that this is where He wants me now.”

These were the words of 75-year-old Dr Hanneke Meyer, who recently graduated from the University of the Free State. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Theology with distinction.

Never too old to learn

Dr Meyer, who was a teacher by profession, says she spent all her years teaching others, and when she had children, she went on to teach them too. She then decided it was time for her to get back to her books and become a student again.

After her retirement, Dr Meyer sat quietly and thought what it was that she actually wanted to do in life. She then decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Theology but only registered for a few subjects.

“I registered for a few subjects but as time went by, I felt that this was something that I really wanted to do, and this was something that I wanted to finish. I believed that this would be the course where God would use me for His kingdom.”

UFS faculty best of its kind
Dr Meyer said completing this degree was completely worth it. She would do it over and over again if she could. “I am proud of this university and the faculty too. I believe that the Faculty of Theology and Religion is the best of its kind in the country.”

She encouraged the youth to continue learning. “Don’t ever stop learning. Always be a student because one is never too old to learn.”

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