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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

Student makes SA academic history
2007-11-04

Pulane Mahloka, a final-year B.Sc. (Quantity Surveying) student at the University of the Free State (UFS), has made academic history by becoming the first black student to be awarded a gold medal by the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS).

She is the fourteenth UFS student since 1970 to receive this accolade, and is only the sixth female student of the UFS to attain this honour.

According to the modest 23-year-old Ms Mahloka, her academic success attests to the quality of training the University of the Free State is providing.

“I did not in my wildest dreams ever imagine that I could be selected as the winner. I feel truly humbled and grateful to be counted amongst the achievers in my field of study,” said Ms Mahloka.

By smashing through the proverbial glass ceiling, Ms Mahloka hopes that she can inspire black students all over the country, particularly those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, so that they can realise that all is not gloomy.

Her advice to fellow students is: “There is little you can do about where you come from. Do not be ashamed, but work hard to develop yourself. Do not confine yourself by the fact that you were never exposed to certain equipment and books. Now that you have made it to university, it is your chance to work hard and make something out of your life.”

Ms Mahloka, who hails from Maseru in Lesotho, has been a star academic performer since her first year in 2003, when she received an award for the best first-year student.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@mail.ufs.ac.za
2 November 2007
 

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