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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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Kovsies produces another Mandela Rhodes Scholar
2012-10-25

Joanie van der Merwe
Photo: Supplied

25 October 2012

Another Kovsie student has been awarded the prestigious Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. Joanie van der Merwe, a B.A. Honours Communication Science student, has been selected as one of 29 students from across the continent to receive the scholarship for 2013. The scholarship is awarded to young Africans who demonstrate academic and leadership potential.

This is the second successive year that the university has produced a Mandela Rhodes Scholar. Kovsie student Jaco Griessel was one of 23 students who received the bursary in 2011 for studies this year.

Joanie, who also holds a BA Honours Psychology degree, will study for her Master’s degree in Media Theory and Practice at the University of Cape Town next year. During the scholarship, she will be granted access to leadership development programmes. The scholarship covers study and registration costs, study material, accommodation and a living allowance.

Joanie says family urged her to apply for the scholarship. “After coming to terms with what the scholarship entails, I realised that I identify with the values and characteristics to which Mandela Rhodes scholars aspire.”

“I have a dream of forming an integral part of the continent in such a way that I will be able to serve others and empower the community where it is needed most. I want to live in such a way that my trials and mistakes are not wasted. They should be learnt from and be used to inspire and encourage others.”

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