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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

Department of Architecture recognises excellence
2014-11-20

 

From the left are: Gary Westwood, Marius du Plessis and Henry Pretorius
Photo: Ifa Tshishonge
Front page design by Marius du Plessis

Marius du Plessis received the first prize in the Regional Corobrik Student of the Year Award for his design of a National Geothermal Research and Educational Centre in Johannesburg. The award ceremony was hosted by the Department of Architecture at the University of the Free State.

Anja Lareman was awarded the second prize for her Psychiatric Unit for the Deaf in Worcester and Mariska Peel received third prize for her design of a laboratory for the after oil epoch in Durban.

The Corobrik award for Best use of clay masonry brickwork was awarded to Valentino Moutzouris for his design of a Performing Arts Centre in Wynberg, Cape Town.

The event was well attended by architecture students who hoped to take home an award. Projects exhibited, received distinctions in one or all of the three main components, including design, the architectural theoretical treatise and building sciences.

“This is the greatest award that one could win in the Free State. It came with so much blood, sweat and tears, as I had to live, eat and work day and night at the same place in order to finish the project,” said Marius, master’s student in Architecture. He said that he hopes the project can be developed and implemented in mine shafts to solve the energy crisis in South Africa.

Henry Pretorius, Academic Departmental Head of Architecture, said: “It is vital for architecture to have a public interface. This event is to showcase the work of students and to make sure that it is accessible to the public. It encourages students to understand the value of their own work and its cognisance to society.”

Gary Westwood, Sales Manager of Corobrik Free State, Northern Cape and Lesotho region, said: “So far it has been an incredible journey. This annual event of 24 years is our way of giving back to the community who supports and sustains our business. It is wonderful to see how the architecture industry has adapted to a more sustainable way of design, by being part of the green movement.”

Marius will compete with other Corobrik winners from various universities on national level in April 2015.

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