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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 community makes difference through Big Give Project
2016-06-10



Food for the needy. From left is Annelize Visagie, Health and Wellness;
Vicky Simpson, No Student Hungry Food Bursary Programme;
Elizabeth Msadu, Health and Wellness; and Lorinda Slippers, Student
Representative Council Rag Community Service, at the handover of
the food and cash collected by the RAG Big Give Project.

Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

Thanks to the caring community of the University of the Free State (UFS), students in need were provided for during exams, and will receive more food in the cold winter months.

Once again, staff and students made valuable contributions at the successful RAG Big Give Project, where food contributions of R 38 176.20 and cash donations of R25 000 were received. Staff, residences, and the RAG Committee made these donations as part of the project on 5 May 2016, when contributions were made at the Bloemfontein Campus gates of the UFS. An extra donation by Imperium, a residence on the Bloemfontein Campus, of R20 000 for FutureLife helped to achieve the grand total of food contributions.

According to Vicky Simpson, Assistant Officer at the No Student Hungry Food Bursary Programme (NSH), the food donation is for a designated group of students who have already been identified as food insecure by the social work office. “It will be distributed to them on a monthly basis,” she said.

The handover of food collected was done on 25 May 2016 at the RAG Food store by the RAG Office to Health and Wellness and the NSH. The RAG Office thanked the UFS community for its contributions to the project. Parexel, who made cash and food donations, received special mention. Simpson said “the food will make a huge difference in the lives of students who do not know where their next meal will come from”.

According to Jaco Faul, Senior Assistant Officer Rag CS, his office is already looking forward to the next instalment of the Big Give Project. “We challenge faculties and staff members for the forthcoming Rag Big Give project in October to see if we can beat the amount collected this time.”

 

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