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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. 



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Academic leads a group of South Africans during a visit to Australia
2008-12-04

 

Prof. Doreen Atkinson, research associate from the Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free State (UFS), recently lead a group of South Africans that attended the Desert Knowledge Symposium in Alice Springs, Australia. Prof. Atkinson, leader of the group and part of the centre's programme for arid areas, received funding from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to take the group to the symposium.

 Here are, from the left: Mr Jerry Aries, Department of Agriculture in Elsenburg, Western Cape, Ms Sue Taylor, research associate from the Centre for Development Support at the UFS, Prof. Atkinson, Ms Leonie Fouchè, Camdeboo District Municipality in Graaff-Reinet, Ms Deidré van Rooyen, researcher from the Centre for Development Support at the UFS, and Mr Stefanus Jooste, Central Karoo District Municipality, Beaufort West; back: Mr Jaco Mostert, Northern Cape Provincial Government, Mr Mark Ingle, research associate from the Centre for Development Support at the UFS, and Mr Peter Myles, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Photo: Supplied

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