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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

Six of our students on their way to Stanford Sophomore College
2014-08-21


Back, from the left are: Philip Kitsopoulos (BCom Law), Ulrich Kristen (Medicine)
and Stephan Erasmus (Medicine).

The university hosted a send-off function for our students who are about to attend a three-week seminar at Stanford Sophomore College (SoCo).

Six Kovsie students were selected to attend the seminar at the Stanford SoCo in September 2014. This programme is an immersive learning experience where participants attend class meetings during the morning. Their afternoons include class activities, explorations of Stanford, field trips as well as organised events.

UFS students were invited to apply for one of six SoCo courses in February 2014. After months of apprehension, the successful Kovsie applicants were announced in May this year.

These outstanding Kovsie students and the courses they will attend are:

  • Sebabatso Makafane, Vuyisile Kubeka and Philip Kitsopoulos – New Millennium Mix: Crossings of Race and Culture;
  • Ulrich Kristen – Resistance Writings in Nazi Germany;
  • Kaylene Pillay – Ghost Stories: Why the Dead Return and What They Want From Us; and
  • Stephan Erasmus – Responses to the AIDS Epidemic.

During the farewell function, Rudi Buys: Dean of Student Affairs, handed the students their flight tickets and visas. This was followed by messages of support from Dr Lis Lange, Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning, and Prof Neil Roos from the Centre for Africa Studies.

Prof Roos concluded the evening’s programme with some advice for these students. “Don’t go there and come back to copy the students and personalities you meet there. Go there and show your own characteristics to them.”

The six Kovsies will depart on 29 August and return home on 19 September 2014.

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