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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

Open Day engulfs Bloemfontein Campus with colour, crowds and cheer
2013-05-04

 

08 May 2013
Photo: Lelanie de Wet


   Open Day YouTube video

The procession – comprising of Prof Jonathan Jansen and the Deans of all the UFS faculties – stately entered a packed Callie Human Centre on Saturday morning 4 May 2013. As everyone took their seats, all the lights were abruptly cut, leaving the hall in a stunned silence. Suddenly brilliant beams of green, blue and red lights cut through the dark, exploding into a spectacular laser show.

Open Day 2013 on the Bloemfontein Campus was officially under way.

The audience of parents and prospective students were awe-struck by a transfixing electric guitar performance, dancers lit up by LED suits, pulsing music and finally Corneil Muller singing to the accompaniment of Prof Jansen behind the piano.

Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jansen immediately made attendees from across all nine provinces, Namibia, Lesotho and several other countries feel at home and embraced by the university. During his welcoming address, Prof Jansen referred to the fact that Kovsies places the bar high when it comes to achievement. “We expect more of our students,” he said. “Passing is not important, passing wéll is important.” He stressed that at the university we teach students to be decent, to be exceptional people. “We place a high premium on being an outstanding human being.” He went on to say that our students are better than the previous generation – they do not carry the baggage of the old.

Prof Jansen also communicated the university’s commitment to developing leaders with an understanding of the world. This is why the university afford students the opportunity, amongst other things, to study abroad. Students have access to a wide variety of organisations and the privilege to have access to leaders who they can converse with. Kovsies strives to produce leaders, not only in the community, but on a global platform.

To demonstrate this last point, top Kovsie achievers joined Prof Jansen on stage to relay their stories of perseverance, courage and success. Included among these stars, were athlete Danél Prinsloo; Varsity Cup Player that Rocks 2013 Oupa Mohoje; DW Bester, a Rhodes Scholar currently studying at Oxford University in the United Kingdom; and Jurie Swart, who ranked under the top five in the 2012 International Graduate Architecture Student Design competition.

The residences pulled out all stops when it came to the presentation of their individual stalls. The gardens in front of the Main Building burst with colour, sound, dancing and laughter as the residences competed to draw the most visitors. The faculties also opened their doors for a glimpse at the exciting opportunities awaiting prospective students.

A record amount of visitors went home with the words of Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs, inscribed in their minds summing up what the UFS is all about: “Where a sense of community matters more than the colour of your skin.”

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