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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

Three Kovsies receive prestigious Mandela Rhodes scholarship for 2015
2014-11-10

From the left: Lehlohonolo Mofokeng, Tumelo Morobane and Zola Valashiya
Photo: Stefan Lotter

 

The UFS continues to produce leaders and is proud to have three Mandela Rhodes scholars next year.

Lehlohonolo Mofokeng, Zola Valashiya and Tumelo Morobane all received this prestigious scholarship for 2015.

A Mandela Rhodes Scholarship provides full funding for a maximum of two years of postgraduate study. The award is open to all African citizens under the age of 30 years and recipients must study towards an honours or master’s degree at a recognised South African institution. Although there is no maximum number of awards, the scholarships are highly competitive, with fewer than 30 scholarships being awarded each year since its inception in 2005. The scholarships cover tuition, accommodation, meals, book allowance, general allowance, and travel expenses. Recipients of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship are students with outstanding academic achievements, who also possess leadership ability, entrepreneurial skills, and a commitment to reconciliation. In addition to receiving funding for their studies, scholars also do a leadership development programme while in residence. The award is named after Nelson Mandela and Cecil Rhodes and is administered by the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, which is a partnership between the Nelson Mandela and the Rhodes Trusts.

Lehlohonolo has just finished his BEd Hons in Philosophy and Policy of Education at the UFS. He hopes to enroll for a master’s degree in Education Policy, Planning and Management at the University of Witwatersrand with his Mandela Rhodes Scholarship.

Zola is originally from Johannesburg and is completing his LLB degree at the UFS this year. He is planning to stay at the UFS in 2015 to do his LLM in Constitutional Law or International Human Rights Law.

Tumelo has a BSc Honours in Actuarial Science and will use this scholarship next year to study towards her master’s degree at the UFS.

“I chose to stay at the UFS because I am doing a great master's project with Munich Re through the UFS,” says Tumelo. 

“Furthermore, the CEO of the Mandela Foundation, Mr Sello Hatang, asked me to work with the foundation on a few projects that mostly focus on keeping the girl child in school across Africa, as well as helping with providing training and workshops on entrepreneurship to young people.

“So, I am looking forward to a very busy year ahead of me, which will be filled with so much learning, growth and making a difference,” Tumelo says.

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