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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. 



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Louzanne to represent South Africa at World Championship
2015-10-26


Louzanne making a leap for the finish line with guide runner Rouxné Vermaak

Within the space of seven days, Louzanne Coetzee will take part in both the 1500m and 800m events at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships, being held in Doha, Qatar, from 21-31 October 2015.

The BA Corporate and Marketing Communication Honours student at the University of the Free State (UFS) was selected to represent South Africa (SA) by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). Team SA consists of 23 top athletes, who will be competing in different codes against 89 other countries.

The middle- and long-distance T11/F11 class athlete has won countless medals since her debut in professional athletics in 2012. After only five months, she reached the qualifying standard for international participation, with an impressive 2 minutes 53.8 seconds in the 800m at the 2013 Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled, held in Pretoria.

Louzanne has since achieved another international milestone by making the SA team, following her inaugural IPC meeting, hosted by France two years ago.  

 

“It’s a big honour for me to represent South Africa, and I count myself very fortunate to represent the country at the World Champs,” said the former Accessibility and Student Support Student Representative Council (SRC) member.

 

The IPC World Championships precede the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, which are known as “the biggest sporting event on the planet”. Qatar is Louzanne’s Rio, and she intends to outdo her personal best in order to qualify. “I want to get my ranking high enough so that I can go to Rio in 2016,” said the gold medallist.

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