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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

Louzanne Coetzee heading for Paralympic Games in Rio
2016-08-02

Description: Louzanne Coetzee  Tags: Louzanne Coetzee

Louzanne Coetzee (left) from the University of the
Free State and her guide Khothatso Mokone, a former Kovsie,
will compete in the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, from 7 to 18 September 2016.
Photo: Rufus Botha

Her perseverance and faith. Faith in herself and her coaches, as well as her Christian faith. Rufus Botha says this is what makes the Paralympic athlete Louzanne Coetzee special. According to her coach, the 23-year-old star from the University of the Free State (UFS) is easy to work with. “Her work ethic is incredible. As coach, I actually have to stop her,” he jokes. “She does not like to rest.”

On 19 July 2016, Coetzee was included in South Africa’s Paralympic team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She and her guide Khothatso Mokone, also a former Kovsie, were included in the team that will participate in Rio from 7 to 18 September 2016.

Sights still set on 2020 Olympics

In Brazil, Coetzee will compete in the T11 category in the 1 500 m. The blind athlete is also outstanding in the 800 m and 5 000 m, of which she is the world record holder, but these items do not feature at the Olympics.

Botha says Coetzee has her sights still set on the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. “Anything she achieves in Rio will actually be a bonus.” He says it was an achievement on its own to be included in the SA team among established athletes such as Arnu Fourie and Ilse (Hayes) Carstens.

CUADS super proud of record-breaker

“Anything she achieves in Rio
will actually be a bonus.”


“Louzanne is an absolute star and an example to so many Kovsie students,” says Martie Miranda, Head of the Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) at the UFS. “We are super proud of her.”

On 17 July 2016, Coetzee set a new Africa record (5:00:25) in the 1 500 m in Berlin. She will leave for Rio on 30 August 2016, with her heat taking place on 15 September 2016 and the finals on 17 September 2016.

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