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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

Miss World 2014 is a Kovsie
2014-12-14

Photo: Netwerk 24

The management, staff and students of the University of the Free State (UFS) are delighted with the naming of Rolene Strauss, third-year MB ChB student in the School of Medicine, as Miss World 2014.

Rolene was crowned as Miss World 2014 in London, United Kingdom, earlier this evening. The last time a South African was crowned Miss World was in 1974, when Anneline Kriel walked away with the title. Before her, Penny Coelen was crowned Miss World in 1958.

“Rolene represents the best of South Africa - a deep commitment to education and a profound compassion for human beings. Since the first day I met her as a new first-year medical student, I was aware of somebody special, a young woman from a rural area who carried herself with so much grace and confidence. She is truly without prejudice towards any human being and this has made her one of my allies in building the Human Project of the University of the Free State,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

“I was not at all surprised that she chose as her beauty-with-a-purpose project the task of keeping young girls in school; this is who she is, and if you observe her dedication to her medical studies, you see someone for whom studies and service are not the add-on obligations of the Ms World Pageant; it is who she is in real life,” he says.

“Rolene has proven herself to be a dedicated, hard-working and enthusiastic young woman. These are qualities which will make her an equally exceptional Miss World,” says Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

According to Prof Van Zyl, Rolene interrupted her medical studies when she competed in the Miss South Africa pageant. “We are extremely proud of Rolene and will definitely welcome her back after her year as Miss World. She is an inspiration to us all,” he says.

According to Mosa Leteane, President of the UFS Student Representative Council (SRC), the entire student community is elated about Rolene’s crowning. “We know that she will continue to do great on her new journey. Her passion for people and kind spirit are some of the many beautiful traits that continue to make her an exemplary fellow Kovsie. We would like to congratulate her and wish all the best. She has really made us extremely proud,” says Leteane.

 

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