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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

Out@Kovsies addresses LBTI concerns on campus
2015-02-27

A new office, which will in future be concerned with the human rights issues of the LGBTI community on our campuses, was recently established on our Bloemfontein Campus. Out@Kovsies seeks to address issues of the LGBTI community.
Photo: René-Jean van der Berg

A new office, which will in future be concerned with the human rights issues of the LGBTI community on the campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS), was recently established on the Bloemfontein Campus.

This office, Out@Kovsies, is a collaborative initiative between the Centre for Health and Wellness and the Human Rights Desk of the UFS’s Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice. They also enjoy the support of the non-governmental organisation Networking Aids Community of South Africa (Nacosa).

“There is a great need on our campus for an environment or office where the Kovsie LGBTI community can feel safe and, for various reasons, can call on for help,” says Zanele Thela, coordinator of the LGBTI programme.

Thela says their first goal is to establish a balanced and LGBTI-friendly environment on the UFS campuses through capacity building, dialogue and the programmes which will be presented throughout the year.

The office provides services to both students and staff.

“The Centre for Health and Wellness and Nacosa will work closely together to resolve social concerns on LGBTI issues,” says Thela.

For more information about Out@Kovsies and their services, contact Ms Zanele Thela at ThelaZ@ufs.ac.za

 

 

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