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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

Read a book SA encourages South Africans to read one book a month
2012-09-20

Campus Principal Dr Elias Malete on the left and Tebogo Ditshego's. With them are Betsy Eister, UFS Director: Library and Information Services and Mathene Mahanke from the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.
20 September 2012

'Read a book SA's" objective is to bring reading into the everyday lives of South Africans. Speaking at Writers’ Day on the Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State last Thursday, Ditshego said reading was essential. “Of all the skills that anyone can ever have, reading is the most fundamental of them all. It improves one's attention, confidence and discipline, amongst others.”

Ditshego asked why South Africa is presently faced with a 25,2% unemployment rate compared to Germany's 6-8%, despite South Africa having more and better natural resources. The answer, according to him, rests with lack of knowledge and critical skills in South Africans.

“Out of 144 countries, South Africa is ranked 133th in as far as the delivery of quality education is concerned. The reason for this is that South Africans lack knowledge, as they do not read enough. Most South Africans read for information, which is different from knowledge,” Ditshego argued.

In his welcoming remarks, Campus Principal Dr Elias Malete challenged authors to continue reminding society of their responsibilities.

“It is also your duty and responsibility to teach diplomacy lessons, to teach about effective leadership that is accountable, fair and transparent,” said Dr Malete.

Amongst the established authors who shared their wisdom with budding writers was Dr KPD Maphalla, a Sesotho literature guru and custodian of Sesotho language and culture. UFS students and learners from Sekgutlong and Tiisetsang secondary schools had the opportunity to showcase their writing skills. They also received expert advice on manuscript development and publishing from Mathene Mahanke from the Free State's Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

The annual Writers' Day is a joint venture of the Campus Principal and the Library and Information Services (LIS).

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