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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

Agricultural economics celebrates 50 years of existence

The Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently celebrated 50 years of existence during a dinner held in the Centenary Complex on the Main Campus. The Department originated in 1958 and has since developed into one of the leading departments of agricultural economics in South Africa.

Some of the guests who attended the celebrations were, from the left: Prof. Chris Blignaut, Head of the Department from 1979–1985; Ms Martie Smith, wife of the late Prof. Dirk Smith, former Head of ISEN; Prof. Giel Viljoen, Head of the Department from 1986–1997; Ms Rita Blignaut, wife of Prof. Chris Blignaut, Ms Jana Kotze, wife of the late Prof. Whitey Kotze, who was the first Head of the Department from 1960–1978; Prof. Johan Willemse, current Head of the Department; and Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics from 1998–2003.
Photo: Stephen Collett

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