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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

Community Service Summit
2008-10-20

Community service must heal our campus

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Community service and community service learning at the University of the Free State must be put in the forefront of healing our divided campus and our divided country.
This was the message from the Acting Rector Prof Teuns Verschoor when he opened the Community Service Summit that was held in Thaba Nchu on 9 and 10 October 2008.
“The importance of community service is that it heals those who help others because the needs of others are more important than our own needs when we render service to those who are worse off than ourselves,” prof Teuns said.

He said community service has already helped to change the UFS in terms of the academic experience of students and staff and in terms of the perceptions that various communities hold about the UFS.

The summit was attended by more than 35 representatives from different Faculties and departments of the university, representatives from the communities in the Motheo and Xhariep District Municipalities as well as the project managers of Lebone Land and the Bloemfontein Life Change Centre.

Several issues pertaining to the Community Service Policy of the UFS, as well as other related issues were discussed which will culminate in a Statement of Intent that will be handed to the Executive Management of the UFS. This is being done in response to the challenge of the acting rector that the Summit will make a meaningful input in the repositioning process of the UFS.

One delegate described her participation in the Summit as a life changing experience. “This articulation of her experience has captured the views of a lot of the delegates. It shows that there is a big need to cement the importance, commitment to and implementation of Community Service and Community Service Learning at the University of the Free State. With the support of our partners we are determined to make a difference in the lives of the people of the Free State and beyond,” said Rev Kiepie Jaftha, Chief Director Community Service at the university.



 

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