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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

The first female heart surgeon in South Africa is a Kovsie
2014-12-15


Dr Susan Vosloo is South Africa’s first female heart surgeon. She graduated from the University of the Free State (UFS) in 1980.

“Being a Kovsie student brings back great memories. I received great medical training at the UFS and have fond memories of my time at the university,” she says.

Dr Vosloo completed her internship in Pretoria and spent the following year in Critical Care Medicine at Universitas Hospital, Bloemfontein, before starting her surgical training in Johannesburg.

She is currently in independent private practice at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, having also worked from 1998 – 2012 at the Vincent Pallotti Hospital in the same city.

Dr Vosloo maintains close ties with our university and has quite a number of additional roles to that of surgeon:

• member of the Council of the UFS;
• UFS Council Representative in the Senate;
• member of the Standing Advisory Committee of the School of Medicine, UFS;
• Kovsie Alumnus of the Year (1989);
• member of the Provincial Department of Health;
• Africa representative for the Paediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society; and
• founding member of the World Society for Paediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery.

“I have always been proud of the medical training I received at Kovsies. I have worked and visited many institutions across the world and never felt less qualified. In fact, all the places I have worked and went to had high regard for the training I received and also accepted me in that way.

“I think the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the UFS does some ground-breaking research that the university can truly be proud of,” Dr Vosloo says.

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