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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

Students aim to make a difference
2012-08-12

 
Besides their work with the learners, Legendary Bethulie also wants to expose them to the rich history of Bethulie and showcase the beauty of the small town. The town had the largest concentration camp during the Anglo Boer war and it boasts the longest bridge in South Africa – the DH Steyn Bridge, a 1,2 km rail and road bridge.

A group of students has taken the initiative to educate high school learners about different careers. They travelled 180 km to Bethulie, a small town in the southern Free State, to motivate, inspire and expose learners from the Wongalethu Senior Secondary School to different career paths. This event will take place in Bethulie again at the end of the first term next year.

The event was organised by the Legendary Bethulie group, which is campaigning for a child development programme, community centre and also to develop further the annual Bethulie career exhibition. The group intends to equip children from Bethulie and nearby towns with the necessary skills to be successful in life, irrespective of their home backgrounds. The group also wants to expose them to different career paths as well as offer tutoring opportunities. It also aims to minimise the number of learners who become victims of drug abuse and HIV.

The organisation is still growing and would like to access funding from different institutions and companies as it is currently financed by the community.

Students who wish to take part in next year’s event can contact Luyanda Lunga Noto at luyanda.noto@gmail.com.
- Luyanda Noto
 

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