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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 law students sit in on exceptional case in the Supreme Court of Appeal
2011-09-21

 

At the Supreme Court of Appeal were, from left to right: Dr Beatri Kruger, lecturer in our Department of Criminal and Medical Law at the Faculty of Law; Adv. Ann Skelton, Amicus Curiae instructed by the Restorative Justice Centre; Ms Matsepo Soko, post-graduate student in Criminal Law; and Prof. Annette van der Merwe from the University of Pretoria.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

Fourth-year and master’s-degree students, from our Faculty of Law, had the privilege of attending the hearing of one of their prescribed cases in the module, Criminal Law, namely the State versus Tabethe, in the Supreme Court of Appeal. Apart from the fact that they could attend the hearing, the students were also addressed by experienced legal experts, Adv. Ann Skelton (amicus curiae, instructed by the Restorative Justice Centre) and Prof. Annette van der Merwe from the University of Pretoria, on the broad outlines of the case.

In this case, the accused was found guilty of raping his fifteen-year-old stepdaughter. The court imposed a sentence of ten years’ imprisonment, suspended in full, but with certain conditions. The conditions include 800 hours’ community service and stipulate that the accused has to follow a rehabilitation programme and that he has to give 80% of his income to the family in order to support the victim and her family.
 
This was the first rape case where, in following a restorative justice approach, exceptional conditions were imposed to address the interests of the victim who wants to proceed with her studies. The State appealed against the sentence.
 
Dr Beatri Kruger, lecturer in our Department of Criminal and Medical Law, who prescribed this case for the students, said, ‘The law students were indeed privileged to attend this auspicious and enriching occasion, which provided them with an insightful experience of how the law works in practice.’

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