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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

New Albert Wessels Auditorium officially unveiled
2013-05-19

 

Dr Johan van Zyl (President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Toyota South Africa and CEO for Toyota Africa) and Judge Ian van der Merwe (Chairperson of the UFS Council) unveil the redesigned Albert Wessels Auditorium.
Photo: Johan Roux
20 May 2013

The swanky new interior and entrance of the Albert Wessels Auditorium WA) were officially unveiled on Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) on Friday 10 May 2013.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector, and Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council, presided over the AWA unveiling ceremony. They were joined by a special guest, whose company has a long affiliation with the UFS and the AWA in particular.

Dr Johan van Zyl, the current President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Toyota South Africa and CEO for Toyota Africa, unveiled the commemorative plaque at the new entrance. Dr Van Zyl reaffirmed the relationship between Toyota South Africa and the UFS, which can be traced back to the founder of his company.

The namesake of the AWO was the founder of Toyota South Africa. Dr Wessels was at one time married to Elizabeth Eybers, the acclaimed poet who won the Hertzog Prize in 1934 and 1971. Could she have inspired Wessels’ love of the arts? Regardless, the AWA will serve as a world-class facility for the arts, corporate meetings and seminars, from now on. The AWA can now seat 196 people on its luxurious red leather seats.

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