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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 conductor of OSM Camerata is one of South Africa’s most successful young people
2014-03-27

 
Mr Xavier Cloete

The OSM Camerata at the University of the Free State boasts with a young renowned conductor to lead them in the next season.

Mr Xavier Cloete, winner of the 2013 National Len van Zyl Conductor’s Competition, will conduct the Camerata during the Odeion School of Music’s opening concert.

He completed his BMus degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2011 with bassoon and orchestral conducting as main instruments and is currently employed by the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO).

As winner of the Len van Zyl Competition, he completed a conducting internship with the famous Philadelphia Orchestra, which gave him the opportunity to work with acclaimed conductors. He also studied at the Bienen School of Music (Northwestern University) in the Advanced Graduate Conducting Class of Prof Victor Yampolski.

Last year Xavier was also invited to attend the first Sasha Mäkilä International Master Classes in Finland.

His love and passion for music started early in his life – and somewhat coincidentally - in church.

“I was learning to play a few hymns on my dad’s Hammond organ at home. One Sunday our church organist didn’t turn up and I nonchalantly moved in behind the organ. It went very well.”

Xavier ascribes his success to lots of hard work and his love for music.
“My passion for music drives me to work hard. Hard work shows that you are dedicated and this is again seen in the successes you achieve. The reward of one’s hard work is the best instrument.”

He will be making his international debut with the St Michel’s City Orchestra (Finland) during April 2014.


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