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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

Unique partnership flows out of our Schools Projects
2011-06-29

 

 At the meeting between our university and principals and teachers of three of the 23 schools in our university’s Schools Partnership Project were, from the left: Mr Motlolometsi Tshidiso,  Tsotseletso Secondary School; Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations (acting); Mr Vuyo Mlinde, Bloem-Oos Intermediary School; back: Dr Peet Venter, Head of our South Campus, and Mr Tlhabedi Mafoyane from Kagisho Secondary School.

Our university established a unique partnership flowing from two of its community initiatives; the UFS Schools Partnership Project and the Extreme Make-over for Schools Project. Bloem-Oos Intermediary School which will benefit from the Extreme Make-over for Schools Project formed a partnership with Kagisho and Tsotseletso Secondary schools becoming a feeder school for the two schools. Both Kagisho and Tsotseletso Secondary schools are now beneficiaries of the UFS Schools Partnership Project.

With the Schools Partnership Project, the university is working closely with the 23 schools for a three- to five-year-period to help schools to become top achievers of which the teachers, learners and parents could be proud. The schools were identified last year and the groundwork for this project was finalised in 2010 as well. The university’s involvement in the Extreme Make-over for Schools Project includes amongst others a partnership with the Department of Basic Education and the Bloemfontein business community to work together to launch the first of a number of a newly upgraded schools to learners, teachers and the community. Bloem-Oos Intermediary School became the first school in Bloemfontein to undergo an extreme makeover.
 
Management structures from the University, including Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations (acting), and Dr Peet Venter, Campus Head of the our South Campus, recently met with the principals and some of the teachers of three schools that form part of these two community initiatives of the university. The meeting between the university and principles Mr Tlhabedi Mafoyane (from Kagisho Secondary School), Mr Motlolometsi Tshidiso (Tsotseletso Secondary School) and Mr Vuyo Mlinde (Bloem-Oos Intermediary School) took place to enhance the relationships between the parties involved.
 
Dr Makhetha said, “When you support a school you groom learners to fit into the culture of the university. We were excited to learn that Bloem-Oos Intermediary School is a feeder school for Kagisho and Tsotseletso Secondary Schools. This partnership allows us to not only prepare learners already from an early age for university but also throughout their high school career. Let us make this project a model for South Africa.”
 
Continuous efforts and projects from the university as well as partners in the community, to invest in the learners of Bloem-Oos Intermediary School, include:
-       The Project for Peace: A calculator project where learners will be taught on how to use a scientific calculator properly. A group of the learners will also be supplied with a free calculator.
-       The Music Project: The Odeion School of Music at the UFS will also bring a music programme to the school.
-       The Desk Project: This project includes fixing of all broken desks by Group 4 Correctional Facility. (This initiative includes all the broken desks of all the 23 schools in involve in the UFS Schools Partnership Project.)
 

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