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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

Culture contributes to success of UFS rugby teams
2015-12-15

The Sevens team of the University of the Free State followed in the footsteps of the Shimlas when the team was crowned national champion. The Kovsies Sevens team beat Tukkies April in the final of the Varsity Sevens tournament. Photo: Supplied. 

The University of the Free State (UFS) Rugby Club has succeeded once again in creating a culture of values.

Marius van Rensburg, Chairman of the UFS Rugby Club, believes this was one of the reasons why Kovsies had so many rugby successes this year.

The UFS knows that money, which is more abundant at bigger universities, won't change the club into a rugby force, but "there is something special here," he said.

Van Rensburg added that the success of Shimlas, who won the Varsity Cup for the first time, also helped to build a winning culture.

Seven finals

Seven of the UFS Rugby Club's teams played in finals during 2015.

Shimlas beat the Pukke in the Varsity Cup final at Shimla Park on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The Kovsie Young Guns (against Tukkies) and Vishuis (Mopanie from Tukkies) got stuck in Bloemfontein in Varsity Cup finals.

The Shimlas won Section B of the USSA tournament in Johannesburg (against Madibaz in the final).

A strong Irawa rugby team beat Shimlas in the City Cup.

The Kovsie Sevens team was crowned as the Varsity Champions in Cape Town after beating Tukkies in the final. The team was beaten by Maties in the final of the USSA Sevens tournament in George.

Shimlas lays foundation

According to Van Rensburg, the Varsity Cup triumph by Shimlas laid a good foundation.

“After what happened in the Varsity Cup, the winning culture kind of washed over the other teams,” he said.

He also thinks the 2015 successes didn't happen overnight, but that the club managed to bring back good values. He feels that Franco Smith, the former Shimlas coach who is the Cheetahs’ current coach, also played an important part.

Greater pressure in 2016

In 2016, the UFS's rugby teams will have a greater target on their backs.

Van Rensburg agrees that there will be greater pressure, but the structures are in place.

He feels that Varsity Cup success goes together with a touch of luck, of which Shimlas had some this year.

“Looking at the draw, Shimlas will play their first two matches away against Ikeys and Tukkies. Therefore, after two matches, one might have no league points, and that would place the team under immediate pressure.”

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