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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

UFS casts its net wider for collaborative partner engagement
2015-10-19

Ms Felicia Mabuza-Suttle and Mr Ndaba Ntsele

The office of Institutional Advancement at the University of the Free State hosted an event on 9 October 2015 in Johannesburg, to engage prospective partners and donors, to showcase its various projects and programmes, and to recognise existing donors for their contributions.

The event, titled “Revenge of the Caterpillar”, prompted a discussion on the story of change at the University of the Free State, focusing on transformation as well as new ways of advancing a University amidst recent events.

The programme director, Mr Ndaba Ntsele, CEO and Director of Pamodzi Holdings and member of the UFS Council, introduced the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, to the audience. Mr Ntsele expressed his deep respect and confidence in the Vice-Chancellor and his leadership of the university.

Professor Jansen launched his new book, Leading for Change: Race, intimacy, and leadership on divided university campuses, which offers theoretical grounds for thinking about, and transforming, leadership and higher education worldwide. In the context of his book, Prof Jansen discussed inter-racial relationships among students at the UFS and their experiences, which mirror race relations in the country among communities that have come out of a long history of oppression, such as slavery and apartheid.

Prof Jansen also spoke of the challenges that have surfaced nationally on racial symbols on university campuses. “At the UFS, we have dealt with issues concerning racial symbolism.  It is important to lead in times of peace, in order to be able to lead in times of trouble,” he said.

A robust discussion followed, on the way forward for transformation at institutions of higher education, and how this affects communities and the nation at large.   The event was attended by representatives of donor and affiliate organisations of the UFS, such the Nedbank Group, The South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, and celebrity guests such as Gareth Cliff, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle and Leanne Manas.



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