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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

Prof Jeffrey Sachs presented with honorary doctorate at Spring Graduation Ceremony
2015-10-01

Prof Jeffrey Sachs (centre) with Prof Philippe Burger,
Head of Department: Economics (left), and
Prof HJ Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and
Management Sciences (right).

Photo: Charl Devenish

“Quality education is the best accelerator for sustainable growth. Universities have a unique role to play in this regard,” Prof Jeffrey Sachs said during a lecture he presented at the University of the Free State (UFS) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. He gave an insightful overview of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The 17 SDGs replace the Millennium Development goals of the past 15 years. In a major achievement, 193 countries will sign the goals at the United Nations (UN) in New York on 25 September 2015.

Prof Sachs is the director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet professor of Sustainable Development, and professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also a special advisor to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, and director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Another accolade now added to his résumé is an honorary doctorate in Economics conferred on him by the UFS at the Spring Graduation Ceremony on 17 September 2015 for outstanding achievements and contribution to academia.

“South Africa is not achieving sustainable development. It has the highest inequality in the world with high unemployment among the youth. Quality education is the best accelerator for growth,” Prof Sachs said. He used the high education investment in Korea as an example of that country’s growth. Prof Sachs added that the government cannot achieve the SDGs on its own. “It is important for the country and universities to take on the goals. Universities can apply pressure, influence and provide solutions.”

 

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