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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

‘Your capacity for change is limitless’
2013-09-13

 

Ready for the world - students taking part in the 2013 Leadership for Change programme getting ready to travel to universities in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Photo: Johan Roux
12 September 2013

 “You will change this campus, city, country, continent and the world, because you have the capacity for greatness,” Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), said.

He addressed the 2013 group of first-year students in the Leadership for Change programme at a farewell function before they will leave for universities abroad. The first 104 students from the 2013 total of 144 will depart on 18 September and return on 3 October 2013. The second group of 40 students will be abroad from 11 to 25 January 2014. The students are from the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses. They will be accompanied by mentors from the UFS.

The students will visit 17 universities in the USA, Europe and Asia.

The first 71 first-year students in the Leadership for Change programme were sent abroad for two weeks in September 2010 to get intense exposure to the academic, social, cultural and residential lives of students in the USA. In 2011 the student number more than doubled and universities in Europe were included. In July 2012 the programme brought students from around the globe to the UFS for the Global Leadership Summit.

Prof Jansen inspired the young leaders, saying, “If you learn leadership values in your four years of study, a change will come. Build the new value system and take it into the country. Your capacity for change is limitless.”

He encouraged them to learn to know the stranger, not only abroad, but also the beggar at the street corner. “Learn to be comfortable with the beggar, as well as with the professor in the classroom.”

A stringent evaluation and training programme preceded the group’s visit abroad, and Prof Jansen could not formulate their achievement better: “I cannot tell you how proud I am of you.”

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