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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

UFS staff makes a difference
2010-05-04

 
From the left are: Ms Annemarie Ludick, Senior Officer at the UFS; Mr Gerald and Mrs Luchelle Blaauw of the Ebenhauser Intermediary School in Wepener; and Mr Philemon Bitso, Assistant Officer: Corporate Relations at the UFS.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
A group of staff members at the University of the Free State (UFS) made a donation to Mr Gerald Blaauw and his wife, Luchelle, both teachers at the Ebenhauser Intermediary School in Wepener, in reaction to an article that appeared in Volksblad’s Kontrei of 28 April 2010.

The money will be used to buy a stove and pots to prepare food for the 646 learners in this school.

When Mrs Blaauw, who has been at the school for ten years now, got involved in the school’s feeding scheme, she noticed a great need for food amongst the learners. It motivated her to start a vegetable garden. With spinach, cabbage, beetroot, beans, peas and carrots in the garden but no stove or pots to cook the vegetables, Mrs Blaauw was very happy when she learned about the donation from the UFS.

Mrs Blaauw has plans to expand the garden. “We would like to daily give the children a plate of food at 10:00 and a cup of soup again in the afternoon,” she said.

Mr Mickey Gordon, Head: Corporate Relations, Institutional Advancement and Sport at the UFS, said: “It is remarkable that a teacher will go to so much effort for the children. This school is part of our Free State community and we like to help.”

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