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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

Students come together to commemorate Mandela
2016-08-18

Description: Tribute to Nelson Mandela 2016 Tags: Tribute to Nelson Mandela 2016

Where there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful results are bound to follow. Students from the School of Allied Health Professions at the Faculty of Health Sciences demonstrated this in their collaboration with students from the Department of Fine Arts to pay homage to Mandela, through a Nelson Mandela-inspired art piece.

Fingerprint donations go a long way
Creating a portrait of the icon on a canvas, they invited members of the university to take part in completing the portrait with their fingerprints, for a small fee. The initiative was aimed at celebrating the life of the world leader. And in true Madiba spirit, the contributions collected were donated to the university’s ‘No Student Hungry’ (NSH) programme. The programme provides less privileged students with the necessary nourishment to excel in their academic studies.

UFS community embodies selflessness
Vicky Simpson of the NSH programme said that initiatives such as these reveal the true spirit of compassion and sense of commitment found in members of the UFS community. “NHS is sincerely grateful to each and every person who made a contribution. It will surely go a long way”. The day was sealed with special performances by Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students.

More opportunities for student participation and involvement in completing the artwork will be presented in future.

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