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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

BAccHons students achieve A+ rating in ITC exams
2017-09-07

Description: Accounting staff Tags: accounting, examinations, Thuthuka bursary, South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, Initial Test of Competence 

The lecturers of the 2016 BAccHons class: Liesel Botha,
Prof Alta Koekemoer, Prof Cobus Rossouw, Mr Kobus Swanepoel,
Dr Cornelie Crous, Prof Hentie van Wyk, and Mr Shaun Watson.
Photo: Supplied

 


The 2016 BAccHons students in the School of Accountancy at the University of the Free State achieved a 96% pass rate in the 2017 Initial Test of Competence (ITC) examinations of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). The ITC examinations took place in January and June, and of the 49 students that partook in the examinations, 47 passed.

Prof Hentie van Wyk, Programme Director of the School of Accountancy, said with these results, the School of Accountancy ranks among the top accountancy institutions in South Africa. “The UFS is one of 14 accredited universities offering the SAICA-accredited programme,” he said.

New teaching model a success

A new teaching and learning module, which was introduced by the School of Accountancy in 2013, seemed to have fuelled the success of the students, as it is now more learner-centred and introduced more structured support to students.  

The same strategies will be followed for the current 2017 intake. “We achieved an average pass rate of 84.8% over the past five years and if we can build on that, it will be an achievement of note,” says Prof Van Wyk. However, students should understand that much of these achievements are in their own hands.  “After leaving the UFS, they must continue with the preparations for the ITC examinations in order to guarantee their success. The ball is actually in the students’ court,” he said.

Of the African students, 91% were successful in the national examinations, while 100% of the Thuthuka bursary students passed. The average pass rate for the past five years is as follows:

2016     96%
2015     72%
2014     80%
2013     84%
2012     92%.

 

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