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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

Unit for Students with Disabilities impresses
2012-08-10

MUT learns from UFS: From the left, back: Ms Hetsie Veitch, Head of the Unit for Students with Disabilities at the UFS; Mr Rudi Buys, Student Dean at the UFS; front: Mr Mthoko Ntuli, Student Development Officer; Ms Lindiwe Chamane, Student Guidance Officer; and Dr Sibongiseni Ngcamu, Coordinator of Organisational Development (all from the MUT).
10 August 2012

Staff of the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) in KwaZulu-Natal visited the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) to gain insight into the working of the Unit for Students with Disabilities. They visited the campus on recommendation of the Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Hendrietta Ipeleng Bogopane-Zulu.

In the interaction between the two institutions, it was agreed that the Unit for Students with Disabilities would assist the MUT in drawing up a policy for students with disabilities, as well as on how to make residences more accessible and to manage support services for the students. The two institutions also agree to closer collaboration of student governance and leadership development as well as international students.

Ms Hetsie Veitch, Head of the Unit for Students with Disabilities, said this was not the first time that the UFS was used as a benchmark. She said the UFS is held in high regard because every disabled student’s needs were specifically addressed. “We follow a holistic approach so that students with disabilities have the same student life and experience as any other


 

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