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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 multi-purpose residences open in January 2015
2014-06-18

The UFS is currently busy with exciting new accommodation developments on both the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses.

This includes a new residence with a hotel and a conference/lecture hall on the western part of the Bloemfontein Campus and the building of another residence on the Qwaqwa Campus.

“We have done what was possible in our quest to maximise the number of beds available in the older residences on the Bloemfontein Campus,” says Quintin Koetaan, Senior Director: Housing and Residence Affairs at the UFS. “This we achieved by converting underutilised and unutilised dining halls and kitchens into bedrooms, which was totally insufficient to address the dire need for beds.”

“The new residence building will have different types of accommodation. I am very excited and look forward to the completion of this project. And this particular residence also brings a very exciting architectural design to the university environment.”

The residence, with multiple blocks for different accommodation, will be wheelchair friendly and numbering and signage will also be in braille. This futuristic-designed building will stand the test of time and will be provide student accommodation until 2030.The R60 million project is funded by the UFS and the Department of Higher Education and Training.

In step with international university accommodation trends – as with Yale's residential college system – this residence will house female first-years who will be mentored by postgraduate students. Postgraduates will be headhunted with the support of the Student Representative Council’s (SRC) postgraduate committee. These postgraduate students will represent all the faculties. Block A and B will accommodate 184 female first-years.

Each floor in this residence will have a study room, two lounges, a kitchen and a laundry for 25 students. Security will be very tight, with three levels of security: entrance to residence, corridor and individual bedroom door. There will also be perimeter camera surveillance and a security officer outside and inside the residence. 

 
Block C will accommodate postgraduate students. The ground floor will house eight single-bed roomed flats. The first floor will have 16 single rooms sharing a bathroom, kitchen and living room, as well as one double room with its own bathroom. The second floor will have 21 single rooms sharing a bathroom, kitchen and living room.

Block D will house 18 hotel-like en suites, with a dining room where breakfast will be served. The target market here will be visiting academics and other university-affiliated visitors. Prices will be competitive to those of local guesthouses and hotels.

Bookings have already opened. Guests will be able to book in and access the hotel desk 24/7. The dining room, accommodating up to 60 people, will not only be open for hotel guests, but also for postgraduate students and UFS staff. Bookings will therefore be essential.

The expansion of bed spaces also took place at the Qwaqwa Campus. In 2012 a 200-bed residence with a state of the art computer room was completed. As a follow-up to this development, another 248-bed residence is now being built. In this particular residence, there will be designated post-graduate accommodation for 48 students.

The project will be handed over at the end of October 2014, with the first intake planned for January 2015.

Another development at the Qwaqwa Campus is the Chancellor’s House Bed & Breakfast. This B&B, with its 5 en suite rooms, is open for business for all UFS staff.

 

For enquiries or bookings at this new accommodation facility, contact:

- Undergraduate (first-year ladies’ residence):
Monica Naidoo at +27(0)51 401 3455 or NaidooM@ufs.ac.za  

- Postgraduate:
Hein Badenhorst at +27(0)51 401 2602 or BadenH@ufs.ac.za  

- Hotel:
Ilze Nikolova at +27(0)51 401 9689 or NikolovaI@ufs.ac.za  

- Chancellor’s House Bed & Breakfast on Qwaqwa Campus:
Olga Molaudzi at +27(0)58 718 5030 or molaudziOD@qwa.ufs.ac.za

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