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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

Powering the future
2014-07-10

 

Kovsie students with the organisers at the African Student Energy Summit.

Photo: Rirhandzu Marivate

Powering the future. This was the theme of the first-ever African Student Energy Summit. The event was recently hosted by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town. The summit was even more unique, since it was part of a global series of Energy Summits held simultaneously in the US, Mexico and Scotland.

Sixteen Kovsies, together with students from across South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, DRC, Zambia and Cameroon united at this event. The main goal: to confront pressing energy challenges faced by our continent. During roundtable discussions, these students brainstormed issues such as the accessibility of energy, as well as driving efficiency and sustainability through the use of green energy.

Antoinette Nel, a Kovsie honours student in Spatial Planning, said, “Interacting with different speakers and students on green energy possibilities enhanced my understanding of how much can be done to change the current status quo on energy in Africa.”

During a student parliamentary session, the participants had to come up with recommendations on sustainable energy. These will be compiled in a document and sent to the African Union (AU).

“My biggest highlight was understanding the need for energy by most Africans, not for lighting or industrialised activities but rather for daily livelihood, for basic rights and services such as cooking, health and education,” said Justman Suh, also an honours student in Spatial Planning at Kovsies.

“We are creating spaces to challenge Afro-pessimism in Africa through these platforms,” Dr Elizabeth Rasekoala, Chairperson of Green Shift Africa, said during the summit. 



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