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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

Shimlas honoured to meet Prof Petersen
2017-04-12

Description: ' A Shimlas and Prof Francis Tags: Shimlas, Prof Francis Petersen
Prof Francis Petersen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, with
Shimla captain, Stephan Janse van Rensburg, in front of
the Main Building.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

“I studied at Maties and worked for quite a long time at the University of Cape Town so I am also an Ikey, but now I am a Kovsie. So I am obviously supporting and fully behind the Kovsie team.”

This was what the new University of the Free State Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Francis Petersen, said to the Shimla rugby team at a breakfast on 7 April 2017. The Varsity Cup team was invited to the Main Building by Prof Petersen to congratulate them on a great season. The Rector also thanked the team’s management. “All of them wanted to see you and we have waited quite a few months for you. And thank you for the invite. It means a lot us,” said Jaco Swanepoel, Shimla assistant coach.

Shimlas went in as underdogs

“I was completely stunned by the way you played on Monday night,” Prof Petersen said. 

A young Shimlas team went into the tournament as underdogs, but managed to reach the Varsity Cup semifinal against Tuks on 3 April 2017 in Pretoria. The Shimlas staged a great comeback and pushed the home team until the end. They only lost 21-28 against a strong University of Pretoria team.

The Rector also reiterated the importance of sport within the university. “Sport is a unifier and we should use it more to unite.”

Great privilege to meet the new Rector

“It is a massive privilege for our team to be invited by Prof Petersen for a nice breakfast. To know that we have his support, as well as that of the entire university, means a lot to us,” said Stephan Janse van Rensburg, Shimla captain. 

The Shimlas wanted to make UFS proud by making a difference and it showed during the semi-final. “We played under extreme pressure and went into the semi-finals as complete underdogs. We played for every Kovsie but unfortunately it didn’t go our way,” Stephan said.

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