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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

Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to Senior Researcher
2010-05-27

University of the Free State, Ms Melody Mentz.Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to Senior Researcher 
Ms Melody Mentz.


Ms Melody Mentz, Ph.D. student and Senior Researcher at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Division for Student Development and Success (SDS) has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship award to work on her Ph.D. in the United States of America (USA). This award has only been granted to a limited number of students from the UFS in the past.

For the 12-month duration of the scholarship, Ms Mentz will be based at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. During this time she will be doing a part-time internship at the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Institute. Ms Mentz will also be completing doctoral level coursework in the School of Education’s Higher Education and Student Affairs programme. She intends to complete her Ph.D. thesis during her time abroad.

Both her Ph.D. and research work at SDS focus on factors influencing the success of students in South African higher education and the impact of student engagement on student success. More specifically, her Ph.D. focuses on how high-school experiences and expectations of higher education influence the success of first-year students at the UFS.

Ms Mentz completed her B.Com (Human Resource Management), as well as the rest of her postgraduate studies in Psychology at the UFS, obtaining all her qualifications with distinction. She was also the recipient of the Dean’s medal for the best honours student in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences in 2006, and the Kovsie Dux student of the year in 2005.

Ms Mentz will be departing for the USA during August of 2010.
 

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