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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

Student from Atlanta, USA joins TIA/UFS Metagenomics Platform group
2012-09-11

Kanesha Gillyard from the USA .
11 September 2012

 The university and the Spelman College in Atlanta, USA had a joint research venture that ran from June to August 2012. We had the honour of hosting one of the students from Spelman in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Kanesha Gillyard joined the group from the TIA/UFS Metagenomics Platform in the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology.

This was the first time that Kanesha had left Atlanta. This is what she had to say about her trip to Africa:

“I was met with a bright smile and open arms on my first day. The university staff and overall student body have embraced me. Furthermore, the Biotechnology Department has made me feel like I am family. Every day I was given the opportunity to work with a group of people dedicated to their goals, persistent regarding their purpose and fluent in speaking the many dialects of this universal language.

My first week here at the university was like walking into a whole new world.

I have learned many valuable lessons after experiencing life in South Africa for the past two and half months. From adjusting to a new environment and broadening my horizons to becoming trilingual in English, Afrikaans and the new universal language of virtue, I have grown tremendously. Being a “Kovsie” for two months and obtaining an invaluable wealth of knowledge has left me with the confidence of a winner, passion of a dreamer and heart of a nurturer. In essence, this experience has taught me the scientific method to repeat in order to reach for infinity and beyond.”
 

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