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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

Ex-Kovsie swimming legend passes away
2013-04-03

03 April 2013

The University of the Free State (UFS) expresses its condolences to the friends and family of former Kovsie and swimming legend, Dr Karen Muir. Dr Muir passed away on 2 April 2013 in Mossel Bay, after battling cancer for a number of years.

Dr Muir enrolled at the UFS in 1971 and completed her MB ChB in 1977. Despite her academic prowess, it was in the swimming pool that Dr Muir achieved even greater acclaim.

Dr Muir was the youngest person ever to hold a world record in swimming or any other international sporting discipline. As a twelve-year old in 1965, she beat the then record time in the 110-m backstroke. After her initial success, she went on to set fifteen more world records in a variety of swim strokes.

During her career she won 22 South African Championships, three United States National Championships and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1980.

After matriculating in 1970 from Diamantveld High in Kimberley, she retired from swimming to focus full-time on her medical studies. Since then she practised as a physician in Africa and from 2000 onward, in Canada, after relocating.

“We as a faculty mourn her passing and extend our deepest sympathy to her loved ones, family and friends,” said Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

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