#FundingFutures campaign to aid students

02 February 2016 | Story by Newsroom
One of the campaign posters highlighting the plight of financially excluded students.
One of the campaign posters highlighting the plight of financially excluded students.

UCT's 2016 SRC is launching a #FundingFutures campaign that aims to ensure that all current students have the financial wherewithall to register for 2016.

Given the national crisis of student funding for tertiary education as highlighted recently, UCT's Students' Representative Council is committed to decreasing financial barriers to entry to the university.

Consequently, the 2016 SRC has decided to embark on a national fundraising campaign under the banner #FundingFutures to provide financial relief to students who are unable to register due to historical debt.

They hope to raise R1-million which will be disbursed in a process similar to the current SRC Assistance Fund. Students who apply for assistance will have to fill in detailed application forms which will be considered by a committee consisting of SRC and Financial Aid office representatives.

The campaign is fully supported by the Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price and is being run in collaboration with UCT's Development and Alumni Department.

As part of the campaign, the SRC has developed a series of posters highlighting reasons why students find themselves in financial difficulty. These messages read as follows:

  • “In 2015, I was academically excluded. As an international student, I was not able to receive Financial Aid and was at risk of being homeless.”
  • “The scholarship I was on decided to stop funding me for my final year of studies. Unless I can find the money I am going to have to drop out.”
  • “Last year my dad lost his job and left my family in massive debt. This year my degree is going to cost me over R90 000 – which my family can't afford at this stage.”
  • “I am on the brink of financial exclusion – I currently owe R80 000. The Financial Aid office claims that I am too rich and the banks claim that I am too poor!”

SRC president Rorisang Moseli commented: “Ours is not to simply identify challenges within the university, but to actively seek solutions. Collectively we manifest change. Where students lead, institutions are reimagined.”

The campaign aims to utilise and maximise networks within enterprise, alumni and students. They will be running a phonathon where a student or a member of the SRC will contact alumni telephonically to discuss the campaign and ask for pledges.

The phonathon will run from 3 to 10 February, 2016.

Donations to the #FundingFutures campaign can be done via the university's secure online platform.

Story by Andrea Weiss. SRC photo supplied.

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