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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

Breakfast in aid of hungry students
2011-06-01

Our university again proved that it cares for the welbeing of its students when a sum of money was presented to the No Student Hungry Project during a breakfast function.

The Centre for Health and Wellness at the UFS organised the event, not only to introduce the scheme to staff and individuals and thank those concerned for their contributions, but also to present the project organisers with a donation of R50 000. Mrs Grace Jansen, wife of Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector and Dr Carin Buys, wife of Mr Rudi Buys, Student Dean, started the project this year after a study found that 20% of students at the UFS have to study on an empty stomach and that this often leads to students leaving the UFS prematurely.

Ms Tanja Malherbe, mistress of ceremonies, said that the project is blessed because it developed from the founder members’ love for the students. The project currently provides 6 000 deserving students with a meal per day.

Prof. Jansen said that although the university encourage academic success, the UFS is also ready to show its mettle on a humanitarian level. “We don’t want students to only study together, but also to eat together.” He added that food can promote a feeling of fellowship, gives comfort and is also a symbol for caring. “It is bad to be hungry, no matter what the colour of your skin. Especially when other people have food and you don’t.”He concluded by saying that we are blessed by giving to other people, and by giving, we also receive.

Ms Tarryn Nell, also from the centre, supported him by comparing caring to candlelight. “It drives the darkness away, involves compassion and gives direction. When two people can get things to change, the rest will follow.” She encouraged the audience to share their warmth, time, knowledge and resources with other people.

During the event, a picture summary also referred to two recent projects the centre hosted. The first was a free medical screening test for staff members and the second a temporary remembrance rose garden, representing the five main causes of deaths in the country. These causes are HIV, ischemic heart disease, stroke, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence.

The proceeds from Prof. Jansen’s book “We need to talk,” will be donated to the project. Persons wishing to make a contribution, can make a payment to the following account: ABSA 157085 0071, reference number 146 674 604, account number 0198, branch code 632 005. Deposit slips can be sent to pelserr@ufs.ac.za. 

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