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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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Learners show how they built model racing car for international competition
2009-11-10

The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) has sponsored a group of learners from Afrikaans Secondary School in Sasolburg to participate in the international round of the F1 in Schools Competition in London in the United Kingdom in September 2009. The F1 in Schools is a competition where schools are challenged to build compact, gas cylinder-driven model racing cars. The team, who competed with a team of Germany against the national winners of other countries, recently did a presentation for the Faculty to tell about the competition and to thank the Faculty for its sponsorship. Here are, from the left: Mr Eugene Wilsenach from F1 in Schools; Heleen van Greunen, Afrikaans Secondary School Sasolburg; Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences; and Prof. Neil Heideman, Vice-Dean of the Faculty; back: Chacques van der Vyfer, goods manager; Rohan Laas, graphic designer; Wynand Holtzhausen, design manager; Scholtz Thiart, manufacturing manager; Dekker Coetsee, financial manager; and Helgaard Janse van Rensburg, team manager
Photo: Stephen Collett

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