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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

New infrastructure development project planned for the Bloemfontein Campus
2015-06-03

Illustration by Incline Architects

The university community can look forward to two new infrastructure development projects on the Bloemfontein Campus. The construction of a new parking area for staff and students accommodated in the new Education Building, will begin as early as June 2015.

The project includes 113 parking places for students and 16 covered parking places for staff. According to Nico Janse van Rensburg, Senior Director at University Estates, the project will be tackled using several green approaches. “The parking area’s lighting will be solar-powered. The surface will not be the normal paving stone but will permit the water to drain into the ground and in this way be more environmentally friendly and minimise the greenhouse effect,” he says.

Several indigenous trees will beautify the area.

The new parking area will be situated opposite the UFS Sasol library’s student parking area, between the cricket field and the present parking area at the Education Building.

The second project involves a new roof structure at the Bloemfontein Campus’s main entrance security gate.

Since August last year, the university has been enforcing rigorous entrance controls. No person can access any of the five entrances of the Bloemfontein Campus without a valid entrance card. Should individuals not have a card, they must access the campus at Gate 5 in DF Malherbe Avenue where a temporary access card will be issued to them.  Scanning for visitors and service providers is also available at Gate 1 (Nelson Mandela Drive) and Gate 5 (DF Malherbe Avenue).

The  roof structure at the main entrance will serve as a security point. Primarily, it will provide shelter from the elements for those staff manning the area.

Nico says that the plan is to complete the projects before the end of the year. The projects are currently in the planning phase.

“The gate may possibly be closed for a day or two but the main work will be done during weekends. Certain lanes may also be closed from time to time to ensure the safety of both users and construction workers,” says Nico.

Staff and students will be advised well in advance if and when the gate will be closed.

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