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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. 



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Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture launches national Women’s Month Celebrations
2012-08-17

Free State Premier Ace Magashule with President Jacob Zuma during the Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture held on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Stephen Collett
6 August 2012

 

“Mother of African Freedom, heroine, teacher, unifier and true revolutionary.”

That is how dignitaries such as President Jacob Zuma, African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and others described Charlotte Maxeke, the woman they came to celebrate at the University of the Free State on 4 August 2012.

President Zuma honoured the life of the ANC Women’s League stalwart in delivering the fifth annual Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture. The event officially kicked off the national Women’s Month celebrations and thousands of people made their way to the Bloemfontein Campus to listen to the President’s address.

President Zuma told the audience in the Callie Human Centre that women activism had not started with the 1956 march to the Union Buildings – it began much earlier. He spoke about Charlotte Maxeke’s leading role in the landmark 1913 march against pass laws in Bloemfontein and said this had inspired bravery and enthusiasm in the hearts of many in the struggle.

“As a collective, we must emulate the contribution of Mama Maxeke. In her honour, we must continue to open new paths for women, enable them to break new ground in leadership." President Zuma said Charlotte Maxeke, who believed a woman’s place was everywhere, had to be smiling with regard to Dr Dlamini Zuma’s appointment as Chairperson of the AU Commission.

In her speech, Dr Dlamini Zuma encouraged women to embrace the African Decade of Women, saying it was their responsibility to define and implement the changes they want to see. “We should define for ourselves what this decade means, define that we want to do, the role we want to play and achieve during this decade.”

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