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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

Beauty from UFS a national Miss Earth finalist
2016-08-19

Description: Elnè van Coller Tags: Elnè van Coller

Elnè van Coller, final-year
Occupational Therapy student at
the University of the Free State
was selected as a national
finalist in Miss Earth South Africa
(SA) leadership programme on
1 August 2016.
Photo: Miss Earth SA

“Greening my community and touching lives is my purpose in life. We were put on this beautiful Earth to serve others and make a difference in the world.”

This is what Elnè van Coller, final-year Occupational Therapy student at the University of the Free State, had to say after being selected as a national finalist in Miss Earth South Africa (SA) leadership programme.

She has set out to be the change. Not only does she want to see change in her own community but in the rest of the world. The reason she entered the Miss Earth SA programme is to inspire others.

Leadership programme to inspire others

The Miss Earth SA is a leadership programme which aims at empowering young South African women with the knowledge and platform to create a sustainable difference. It helps create awareness of sustainable development, the environment, wildlife, and the conservation of the natural legacy.

 “Miss Earth SA is an amazing platform for me to develop leadership skills, raise awareness, and be actively involved in environmental affairs as well as serving the community,” said Elnè.

Getting the community involved is important

The theme for this year’s Miss Earth SA programme is Waste Stops With ME, so clean-ups are a major part of the programme. Elnè started a Facebook page, Team Up-To-Clean-Up Bloemfontein. “This page is to share environmental facts, inform the people of Bloemfontein about the clean-ups, as well as get them involved”.

The Miss Earth SA gala week will take place in Johannesburg from 5 – 9 September 2016 when the Miss Earth SA 2016 will be announced.

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