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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

Colleges build community through Academic School Projects
2016-06-13


The South College leadership visited CommTech Secondary School as part of their academic
community engagement project. From left is Alexanne Ridge, Wilmie van der Wal, Edith Le Roux,
Tuli Molebalwa, Jean-Claude Naude, Mbali Skosana and Lerato Bale.
Photo: Eddie de Wet.
















Residence Life
at the University of the Free State (UFS), in collaboration with the Community Engagement office, decided to pilot a School Project within colleges for 2016.

The aim of the project is to invest in, and have impact on, not only schools and the learning environment, but also the volunteering spirit of college members. The project triggers critical and reflective thinking as well as the creativity aspect of development to contribute ultimately to our social responsibilities.

Each college will visit a school throughout the year, to serve its academic needs, and to foster relationships in the broader community. Recently, North College visited Bainsvlei High School in Bloemfontein to share information and success stories about academic life as a Kovsie student. At CommTech Secondary School in the city, South College delivered sponsored tables and chairs to improve the overall learning environment.

North College consists of Madelief, Tswelopele, Vergeet-My-Nie, Veritas, and Welwitschia residences while South College includes Armentum, Emily Hobhouse, Marjolein, Kestell, NJ van der Merwe, and Villa Bravado.

“It is a great opportunity for college members to interact with the community, and it serves as motivation for the learners. The learners were very enthusiastic about our visit, and I trust that the South College students will motivate them to complete their high-school career and join us at UFS”, said Wilmie van der Wal, College Coordinator.

The projects will continue during the second semester with the different colleges. Everyone can look forward to significant life-changing stories. A quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu serves as motivation in this regard: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”.

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