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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

Economic students taken outside comfort zone
2010-08-13

At the recent launch of the annual competition for third-year Economics students were, from left: Deon Beck, Vincent Ramorara and Limakatso Majoro.
Photo: Stephen Collett

The Research Cluster on Sustainable Development and the Department of Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently launched an annual competition for third-year Economics students. This interdisciplinary competition, called “Economics at the grassroots”, is led by Prof. Doreen Atkinson, the Cluster Coordinator and Dr Karen Thomas, a Senior Lecturer of Economics in the Department of Economics.

Students were randomly divided into groups by Dr Thomas. As part of an ice-breaker exercise, the groups had to answer ten questions, which ranged from “What is the Rector of the UFS's second name?” to “What is the currency of Honduras and what is the value of it in Rands?”

According to Prof. Atkinson, this type of competition unleashes a new wave of creativity, as students work together on practical problems, which take the students outside their comfort zone.

The top three groups will win cash prizes, sponsored by the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (AHI) and Sanlam.

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