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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. 



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UFS receives a grant of R3 million from the Rockefeller Foundation, USA
2011-01-24

The University of the Free State (UFS) has recently been awarded a grant of R3 million from the Rockefeller Foundation in the USA to engage development evaluation leaders to provide practical assistance to the foundation to better articulate, monitor, evaluate and report on their results and strategies in order to achieve impact.

The grant was secured by the university's Research Development Directorate. It is the first time in 15 years that the Rockefeller Foundation makes a grant to the UFS.
 
The New York-based Rockefeller Foundation focuses on basic survival safeguards, transforming health systems, climate change and environment, urbanisation, and social and economic security in Africa and Asia.
 
Dr Zenda Ofir (Evalnet), an internationally renowned evaluation specialist and affiliated Senior Research Fellow at the UFS, is the project leader. Proffs Frans Swanepoel and Aldo Stroebel from the university will work closely with Dr Ofir and other Rockefeller initiative teams, key grantees and partners, mainly on issues of strengthening food security in Africa.

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