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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

Kovsies deliver eight Brightest Young Minds
2014-08-15


Front, from the left: Michael van Niekerk, Thabiso Letselebe and William Clayton; Back, from the left: Gopolang Kgaile, Thokozane Mahlanga and Mpho Sefo; Lisa Coetzee and Lehlohonolo Mofokeng were not present during the taking of the photograph.

Eight Kovsies have been selected as part of 100 delegates for the 2014 Brightest Young Minds (BYM) summit.

Thabiso Letselebe (Chief Delegate of the UFS BYM), Michael van Niekerk, William Clayton, Gopolang Kgaile, Thokozane Mahlanga, Mpho Sefo, Lisa Coetzee and Lehlohonolo Mofokeng will attend the BYM summit from 29 August to 2 September 2014 in Johannesburg.
BYM is a youth-driven non-profit organisation that identifies South Africa’s most passionate young people. The organisation equips these young leaders with the skills and networks needed to create positive change.

Each year, 100 participants are invited to a five-day summit, based on criteria of innovation, leadership, civic responsibility and academic accomplishment. Delegates discuss challenges facing the nation with respected leaders and then design start-up like solutions to these challenges.

Post-summit alumni have access to resources for success and BYM continues to encourage social entrepreneurship. BYM has demonstrated success in mobilising young people for nearly fifteen years.

BYM has been the launch pad for several successful business and social endeavours. Some of the ideas developed by BYM alumni include the AIDS Industry Management Standard, Taxi Smart Card System, MiniSass Water Monitoring System, Investec Young Women in Finance conference, Tertiary School in Business Administration, Twenty30 and Women in Engineering.

BYM attracts a diverse group of participants in terms of academic, racial, geographic and socio-economic backgrounds. In a society marred by divides, BYM is proving the power of diversity. The organisation’s participants would not be as successful in moving the nation forward if it were not for the diversity of their experience.

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