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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 deserves right to decisions
2010-08-15

Following visits of various youth formations to the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Rector and Vice-Chancellor, as well as the Dean of Student Affairs the past week, the university sees the need to remind all stakeholders and outside organisations that, although their views and inputs may be welcomed, the university reserves the right to make decisions regarding student matters and protect our students against suspected influences.

This reminder follows a series of meetings with organisations such as amongst others the Afriforum Youth and the ANC Youth League and subsequent media releases by some of these organisations, which often do not reflect correctly the nature and content of the discussions.

“While we welcome engagement with any organisation serving a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic agenda and regularly invite civil society organisations to dialogue with and assist us in student matters, we reserve the right to decide how to best serve interest of our students,” said Mr Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS.

“In our attempt to construct a value-driven, ethically sound and mature student governance environment, we also expect of stakeholders to ensure they engage us maturely and ethically at all times,” Mr Buys said.

“We will guard against organisations that may, under a guise of civil society engagement, wish to continue dysfunctional party-political cultures that fuel divisions and racial tensions among our students. In such cases where organisations by their conduct may prove themselves to do exactly that, we will have no other option but to refuse them entry to campus and set limits to their engagement of our students,” Mr Buys warned.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg.)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
14 August 2010
 

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