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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

US ambassador impressed by the UFS class of 2010
2010-01-19

 Mr Donald Gips

 “Students should learn to look beyond themselves to break up the barriers that keep them apart as human beings.”

This was the message of the USA ambassador to South Africa, Mr Donald Gips (pictured), to the first-year students who had enrolled at the university for the first time, during the grand opening of the Get Success@UFS Week at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.

“Take the advantage of the opportunities you have here to grow outside yourselves, to prove the value of diversity and make this university a place where you will grow as an individual; and also contribute back to the community,” he said.

He said the UFS was a beautiful campus undertaking an incredible mission to change the face of South Africa.

“It is incredible and exciting to listen to the energy and to see the enthusiasm of all the students here to make this one of the best universities in the country and setting an example to the world,” he said.

On transformation at higher education institutions, Ambassador Gips said that, just like in the USA, transformation was incredibly difficult.

“It is an ongoing project that everyone has to keep working towards,” he said. “But I am quite convinced that being here today and watching the students and professors tackle this challenge, this university will succeed.”

Addressing the new students, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, quoted from one of the famous speeches by the great Martin Luther King Jr. and asked the question: “What is or can be the content of your character?”

He implored the students to judge fellow students by the content of their character and not by the colour of their skins.
“If we succeed with you, our country will succeed. If we succeed with you, our university will succeed,” he said

Prof. Jansen said it was the first time in the history of the UFS that students were integrated as human beings.

“This is the most integrated group of students the UFS has ever had,” he said.
He appealed to them to live their dreams, learn to embrace others, study seriously, make a difference; and guide their leaders.

The purpose of the Get Success@UFS Week is to acquaint the first-year students with the UFS and the academic opportunities that are available to them. The aim is to:
help students succeed academically;
help students to adjust to and get involved in the university environment;
assist parents and other family members in understanding the complexity, demands and services in the University environment; and
provide an opportunity to learn more about incoming students through formal and informal means.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
19 January 2010
 

 

 

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