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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 are flocking back to class

Ready for the new academic year. From the left are: Shannan Bohlander and Caden Hendricks.
Photo: Chloe Jansen

Despite the weather, campus is bustling with anxious and excited students. While the first week of classes is underway, some are dashing to and from class and others are catching up with classmates.

Shannan Bohlander, a second-year Psychology student, is greatly looking forward to this new year. “I’m excited about actually going to class!” Caden Hendricks, a second-year Media Studies and Journalism student, says his year is all about prioritising, “I’m excited to see if I can achieve balance this year, whilst at the same time not ‘missing out’ on all the activities on and around campus.”

BComm Accounting honours student, Siya Qinga, says this year is a daunting one for her, “I’m not too sure what I’m excited about, because at the start of the year you hear people telling you that it’s hard [honours], so it gets to the point where you’re very scared, because there’s no one reassuring you on that. So it’s a very confusing time, and you need a whole lot of introspection.”

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