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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

Busy medical student’s message to Kovsies
2014-05-23

Stefan van der Westhuizen is a third-year medical student at Kovsies and although he performs well academically, it is not only his studies that keep him busy.

In 2012 Stefan was part of the Leadership for Change programme visiting the International Christian University in Tokyo and in 2013 he visited Stanford’s Sophomore College in California. More recently, he was a guest speaker at this year’ Kovsie Open Day.

His message to current and prospective Kovsies is as follows.

“It is important to me that all students should know: at Kovsies it isn’t only about what you see at the surface. At Kovsies we build a holistic student. And there is a great variety of opportunities – this is what made me decide to come here.”

“The more you do, the more you can do. Something important that I would like to say to prospective medical students, is: here at Kovsies you will not only swot medicine. You learn to be a human being. And this is something you won’t find at other universities.”

“You must decide what you want to achieve, who you want to be and where you want to make a difference. I would rather be a 60% medical student than a 60% human being.”

Stefan would like to go abroad again in future, but then he would like to study at an American medical university. He aims to eventually specialise in cardiothoracic surgery.

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