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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

Offender learners get unique opportunity
2016-08-02

Description: Mandela Day Project  Tags: Mandela Day Project

Subashini Moodley, Regional Commissioner Northern Cape
and Free State.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Nelson Mandela spoke of education as the tool of liberation. Kamogelo Dithebe, Chairperson of the Postgraduate Student Council (PGSC), opened the PGSC’s Mandela Day Project with these striking words.

The PGSC at the University of the Free State (UFS) hosted the Tswelopele Correctional Service Centre Career Day for their annual Mandela Day project on the Bloemfontein Campus on 27 July 2016. Grade 11 and 12 learner offenders from the Kimberley-based centre were given a tour of the campus.

Visitors empowered with knowledge

Subashini Moodley, Free State and Northern Cape Regional Commissioner, said: “It is really a privilege to be here today. It is not every day you see a Correctional Centre roaming around campus.” She thanked the postgraduate council for making the opportunity possible, as it was the first open day for the offender-learners in collaboration with the PGSC.

She told the offender-learners that they were privileged to be given the opportunity as many learners in a normal school environment often come to university not knowing what to expect or what to study. She said they should empower themselves with knowledge as they met with the different faculties.

Tour encourages and change lives

Mthulisi Zandile, a Grade 12 offender learner, was very excited to learn about the career options available after completing a university degree. “It means a lot to us as it will further our education, and bring change in our life, as this will show me the right route to pass matric with flying colours,” said Mthulisi.

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