Richard Horenberg, a student at the Faculty of Medicine and coordinator of Studying without Limitations, and Jelle Meuwissen (HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht) have won the first-ever ECIO Frank Awards. In a ceremony on Monday 2 December, the winners were presented with their awards by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Marjan Hammersma.
The ECIO Frank Award recognises and rewards students with support needs who put in extra effort, motivation and work on a daily basis. Each nominee recorded a video portrait, in which they described their contribution to making education more inclusive and explained how they would use the prize money to further this aim. Based on these video portraits, the jury selected the winners. It was the first time that the Centre of Expertise for Inclusivity in Education (ECIO, formerly Handicap + Studie) presented the awards.
STUDYING WITHOUT LIMITATIONS PLATFORM
Richard studies Medicine at Utrecht University and is the initiator of the award-winning Studying without Limitations platform. His research on accessibility at the university in 2016 revealed that there was a need for a place dedicated specifically to studying with a disability. Since its foundation in 2017, Richard has coordinated the platform and overseen its day-to-day management while studying full-time himself. The platform is made up of students with a disability who are using their experiences to make a positive contribution. Under Richard's leadership, they organise information meetings, initiate policy changes, carry out research, offer a buddy programme and promote activities for better alignment with the labour market.
The nominees who did not receive an award were Jiska Stad-Ogier (Leiden University) and Emma Hoogenraad (Saxion University of Applied Sciences). Nominee Jelle Meuwissen (HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht) was selected as a winner alongside Richard. For more information about the award and the nominees, visit the ECIO website.