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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

UFS works closely with employees in the post-Reitz settlement process
2013-05-20

20 May 2013

In the light of an article in IOL News on 18 and 19 May 2013 and in Sunday Independent and Sunday Tribune on 19 May 2013 in which it is alleged that the University of the Free State (UFS) has failed to honour its commitment to the five Reitz employees we are pleased to report on the ongoing process and progress made with respect to their employment.

The university remained consistently true to the settlement agreement and High Court order of 2011 and cannot apologise for complying with the law. It was therefore impossible for us to talk to our colleagues directly until last week when we had a breakthrough meeting, which was cleared by the Human Rights Commission (HRC), and matters were resolved.

The UFS continues to work closely and now directly with the five employees to ensure that their rights as employees remain the highest priority in the post-settlement process.
 
All but one of the conditions of the Reitz settlement (own business) has already been met; however, we are in the process of providing training and support for the establishment of an independent business led by the employees.

After some delays, and frustration on all sides, we have found the right training provider for them and are satisfied that the process remains on track. The business office (furnished) has been allocated at the South Campus in Bloemfontein.

Already in late 2012 the Chair of the HRC expressed his satisfaction with the commitments made by the university to the process. By 30 June 2013 this outstanding commitment to establish an independent company with trained employees would also have been met in full.

Beyond the settlement agreement, the UFS has also committed to providing free education and training to the children of the employees so that their next generation of families emerge as strong, independent, well-trained and productive members of society. The child of one of the colleagues is in fact finishing Grade 12 this year and we are in discussion about possible studies at the UFS. This is our pledge and commitment as a university.

This final step in the post-Reitz settlement is being led by Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector of the University of the Free State.

 

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director Strategic Communication
Tel: +27 (0) 51 401 2584 / +27 (0) 83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 (0) 51 444 6393
Web: www.ufs.ac.za

 

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