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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

Kovsie students part of exclusive Stanford Sophomore College Programme
2012-09-14

Kovsie students Foster Lubbe (far right at the back) and Palesa Mafisa (middle front) interacting with students from Stanford University.
14 September 2012

The six students, Elri Marais, Palesa Mafisa, Goodwill Shelile, Foster Lubbe, Gabriella Schroder and Saheed Abdullah, are part of the Stanford Sophomore College Programme, a residential summer programme for second-year students. They have been at Stanford since the beginning of this month, engaging in intense academic exploration with peers and professors on a variety of innovative, multidisciplinary topics.

Writing about his experiences in San Francisco, Foster Lubbe said it has been a wonderful experience thus far. “The classes are very interactive. It is amazing to see how effectively students and lecturers make use of technological tools, especially the speedy Internet, during class,” he wrote.

Foster and Palesa have been doing a course on “Mixed Race in the New Millennium, Elri and Abdullah on, “The Meaning of Life, and Gabriella and Goodwill a course on “Ghost stories”. Highlights for the students have been a discussion with New York Times journalist, Susan Saulny, a visit to the Stanford Centre of Marine Biology and for Gabriella and Goodwill a San Francisco ghost tour.

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