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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

Missing UFS student found in Phuthaditjhaba
2014-10-16

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) Qwaqwa Campus management and students are shocked and saddened by the untimely passing away of Sinethemba Shezi (22), who was reported missing this past weekend.

His lifeless body was found this morning in the river around the area in Phuthaditjhaba where he was accosted the evening of Friday 10 October 2014 while walking to the campus with a friend.

The cause of his death is still unknown and the incident is being investigated by the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Campus Principal, Prof Prakash Naidoo, expressed his deepest sympathy to the family and friends on behalf of the university community.

“This morning we received the sad news that our student, who had gone missing, was finally found. We wish to thank all students and staff, the entire community of Phuthaditjhaba and the SAPS for their efforts. This has not been an easy week for all of us,” said Prof Naidoo.

Mr Shezi was a third-year BEd student.

A memorial service is planned on the Qwaqwa Campus for next week and funeral arrangements are expected to be announced at this event.

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