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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. 



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UFS Leads ASGISA Training
2006-07-17

The University of the Free State (UFS) has been appointed as training service provider for the national programme for the creation of small enterprises and jobs in the second economy. This major national programme has a target of creating one million jobs for poor people in rural and peri-urban areas, which forms part of the government’s Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (ASGI-SA). The main method of training will be through the formation of self-help groups and cooperatives with access to business support and micro finance.

Prof Frans Swanepoel, Director of the UFS Research Development Directorate, acts as advisor to the national programme leader, Ms Vuyo Mahlati.  Dr Aldo Stroebel, senior researcher at the UFS Research Development Directorate, has been appointed as programme co-ordinator, based at the UFS. Prof Basie Wessels, Director of the  Mangaung-University Community Partnership Programme (MUCPP), has been appointed as the training co-ordinator and Ms Sazini Ndlovu as programme assistant based at the Independent Development Trust (IDT) in Pretoria.

Dr Stroebel has co-ordinated the development of a training programme, while Prof Wessels presented the “training-of-trainers” course at the MUCPP last month. This course was attended by trainers and trainer-assistants, identified and selected by the local economic development groups in each of the nine provinces, as well as trainers from Hand-in-Hand (HiH), an Indian non-governmental organisation acting as counterpart to the UFS in the provision of training.

Pictured here at the training session at the MUCPP were from the left: Prof Frans Swanepoel, Mr Gnanavel Mookkan (HiH), Dr Rendani Ralinala (IDT), Ms Sazini Ndlovu (national programme assistant), Mr Chinnaiah Meenakshisundaram (HiH), Dr Aldo Stroebel, Ms Vuyo Mahlati (national programme leader) and Prof Basie Wessels.

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