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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

Kovsie Alumnus wins SARU rugby player of the year award
2010-11-08

 
Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Photo: Gallo Images

Gurthrö Steenkamp received the prestigious honour to be named the 2010 South African rugby player of the year during the South African Rugby Union (SARU) Awards that were held in Midrand, Gauteng.

Gurthrö, an alumnus of the University of the Free State (UFS), is a former Shimla and Vodacom Cheetahs loose head prop that has represented the Springbok Rugby team in 31 test matches since 2004. Along with fellow Free Stater and former team mate Os du Randt, Gurthrö became only the second front row player in history to win the player of the year award.

Receiving the award this year was no easy task, since Gurthrö had to beat some tough opponents in fellow nominees Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard and Schalk Burger.

The award comes on the heels of a remarkable season for Gurthrö in which he helped the Vodacom Blue Bulls to lift the Super 14 Trophy for the second consecutive occasion as well as turning in some stellar performances for the Springboks.

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