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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 of the ordinary lunch with Prof Jansen
2015-08-17

Prof Jansen and the twins pose for pictures after enjoying a laugh and chat at the lunch event.

Numerous sets of twins and a set of triplets were entertained by, and enjoyed lunch with, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university, Prof Jonathan Jansen.  Wednesday 12 August 2015 marked an extraordinary day in the Kovsie history book.

The Reitz Hall in the Centenary complex was filled with echoes of laughter as Prof Jansen told “twin jokes” he had Googled earlier for the occasion. Save for the humour, he said that twins and triplets represent a unique bond.  “After all, we should be striving for a way of being together,” he said, speaking about the quest for national solidarity.

Sitting in groups of six, and after the introductions, the duos and trio were soon engaged in conversation.

Anita and Mikita Miza, who were sharing a table with Marike and Ilna Marais, told stories from their childhood.

“We did not realise that we were twins until we were in grade one,” said Anita, who is studying the same course as her sister. Mikita is in the second year of her BSoc Science degree, while her twin is a year ahead. She had to remain in Mtata, their hometown, for a year while Anita began her first year. “It was the longest year of my life,” said Mikita.

Marike and Ilna are first years in Physiotherapy and Optometry, respectively. When asked by Prof Jansen what they never share, the non-identical twins were quick to reply: “clothes,” although they still share a room. When they were in high school, fellow learners struggled to believe that Marike and Ilna are twins, because of their distinctly different looks.

The lunch united strangers, who have a unique common bond, and acted as a platform to tell interesting stories that are seldom heard.

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