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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

Shuttle services for senior medical students
2011-09-26

 

Senior medical students who make use of the shuttle services are standing next to the mini-bus.

On Friday, 30 September 2011, our university will officially launch its shuttle service for medical students. This function will take place from 12:00 to 13:00 at the Faculty of Health Sciences’ CJC Nel Reception Venue in the Francois Retief Building on our Bloemfontein Campus.

Two years ago. Dr Scarpa Schoeman began working at Internal Medicine at our Faculty of Health Sciences. Early on, he identified the transport problems of fourth- and fifth-year medical students (Phase-3 students) in the English class.
 
There are 65 Phase-3 students in the English class who are currently struggling with transport and who are part of this project. About 90% of them are bursary students at the university who, according to Schoeman, are consequently also struggling with finances. These students used public transport like taxis to move between hospital rounds and classes in the past. On average, it would cost them up to R4 000 per year for these daily travels between the UFS and the various training hospitals.
 
By the end of March 2011, NetCare had donated two mini-busses to the UFS and since 11 April, the shuttle services were available to medical students. Prof. Gert van Zyl (Dean of our Faculty of Health Sciences), Mr Mickey Gordon (Head: Marketing, Institutional Advancement and Sport) and the Rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, negotiated with NetCare. Gordon was also responsible for the branding of the busses. PPS and Pfizer are both sponsors who contributed to this.
 
This project is managed by Dr Schoeman, assisted by Mrs Anne-Marie Nel, who handles the administration as the Phase-3 secretary.
 
“It is important for us from the project management that students won’t see this as another taxi, but as a shuttle service of the university. Any senior medical student may make use of it, but it is mainly the under-privileged student from the English class who makes use of it.”
 
The two Quantum mini-busses do the circuit according to fixed schedules each day.  The route starts at the Francois Retief Building on our Bloemfontein Campus and then travels to the National Hospital, the Free State Psychiatric Complex (Oranje), Pelonomi, 3 Military Hospital (at Tempe) and then back again to Universitas Hospital.

 

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