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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

Winter school for international visitors
2011-07-28

 

Here are, from the left, front: Vinita Verma (India), Gayatai Sharma (India), Ambar Istiyani (Indonesia); back: Frank Nieuwenhuizen (Netherland); Vicky Hölsgens (Netherland) and Dewi Cahya Ambarwati (Indonesia)
Photo: Hannes Pieterse

A group of activists, postgraduate students and staff from civil society organisations are currently visiting our Bloemfontein Campus to discuss issues of diversity and development. The group of 19 people from countries such as India, Indonesia, Uganda, the Netherlands and South Africa are part of the 2011 annual international winter school on Pluralism and Development, which is hosted by our International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice. It is the first time that the winter school is held in South Africa since its launch in 2004.

The first class of the winter school started on 11 July 2011 and participants attend daily lectures where they engage in critical thinking about issues such as sustainable development, identity, reconciliation and pluralism. On Thursday 21 July 2011 our Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen presented a lecture on reconciliation to participants where he spoke lengthily about South Africa’s traumatic past. Classes will come to an end on 5 August 2011.

During their stay at our university participants also visited Gauteng where they spent time at the Apartheid museum, Constitutional Hill and Freedom Park. Later this week they will visit our Qwaqwa Campus.

Indonesian participant, Ms. Dewi Cahya Ambarwati, said she is looking forward to the Qwaqwa visit, where she will show off her traditional dance. Ambarwati said during their visit to Freedom Park, she managed to trace back Indonesian ancestors in the museum’s slavery section. Another participant, Mr. Frank Nieuwenhuizen from the Netherlands, said the winter school is enriching because it makes you realise what it means to deal with differences.

The international Winter School on Pluralism and Development is an initiative of the Kosmopolis Institute of the University of Humanistic Studies, in cooperation with the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos).

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