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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

Crossing borders, merging boundaries
2014-02-25


Photo: Johan Roux

Senior and first-year international students recently experienced the warm embrace of the university. The Office for International Affairs and the SRC International Affairs hosted a welcoming gala dinner for their students.

SRC member: International Student Council, Brian Hlongwane, emphasised why this group is so important to the university – helping to ensure the international students feel that they are an integral part of our three campuses.

Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs, encouraged these students to immerse themselves in campus life in order to help build bridges between cultures. “Own your space, engage in and facilitate conversations around issues at this university. Do not hold back and become a spectator, know that you have the same responsibilities as any registered student at the UFS,” Buys said.

Dineo Gaofhiwe-Ingram, Head of the Office for International Affairs, spoke about the complexities of the country that international students now face. She urged students to find their role in the student community across the three campuses. In addition, they need to know their rights as well as their responsibilities. “You all deserve to be treated, and taken well care of, like any other registered student on this campus. Nothing should set you apart from the rest,” Gaofhiwe-Ingram stressed.

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