Students bond with benefactors

07 August 2006

Business science scholars got together with their benefactors JPMorgan Chase SA over an intimate dinner, hosted by UCT last Wednesday.

The foundation trust of the global financial services firm has been funding the undergraduate BBusSci Extended Curriculum Programme through bursaries for top students, mostly those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

The dinner was held in recognition of this ongoing support.

JP Morgan senior country officer, Jon Zehner, said that in the past year two thirds of the South African graduates who have been hired by the firm were from UCT, an indication of its high calibre of students.

"It seems that UCT is the university in South Africa, and that anyone who gets the opportunity to study here grabs it, so we are pleased to be associated with this university," he said.

His sentiments were echoed by the students themselves.

Reagan Hudsonberg, a final-year student majoring in information systems and computer science, said: "The scholarship has helped me in many ways and it means more to me than its monetary value. Few students get the chance to study free and it's nice to know that the next phase of my life will be free of debt from varsity fees. Also, if I did not have the scholarship I may not have had the opportunity of studying at a world-renowned university like UCT, and it will increase my career opportunities as a graduate from here."

The financial services firm also aims to be more actively involved in the students' personal and career development, such as the JP Morgan Winter Programme in Johannesburg, an experience that is highly appreciated by the students.

Said David Mashianoke, who is in his final year in economics and finance: "The winter programme has sparked my interest in financial markets that I would not otherwise have known if it had not been for JP Morgan opening this up for me."

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo said that the relationship between UCT and JP Morgan can be described as a flagship partnership because it is an example of how things should be done.

"This dinner is our small way of acknowledging your support and making it clear that we would like it to continue."

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