The Students' Representative Council's #FundingFutures campaign, which is aimed at helping deserving students who are facing financial exclusion, has received a welcome boost in the form of a R2-million donation from Old Mutual. Old Mutual Emerging Markets (OMEM) CEO, Ralph Mupita, handed a R2-million cheque to UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price and SRC Secretary General Noxolo Ntaka at a function at the investment company's Pinelands head office on Tuesday, 15 March 2016.
The campaign's aim is to plug the gap for deserving students who do not qualify for financial aid under the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) but who face academic exclusion because they cannot afford their fees.
Mupita, who like many other Old Mutual staff is a UCT alumnus, said: “We strongly believe the private sector has a critical role to play in addressing the tertiary education funding crisis. We hope that this contribution will encourage other South African corporates and alumni, locally and internationally, to support university students who are excelling but do not qualify for funding.”
Price, who has also pledged R150 000 of his own money to the campaign, said the Old Mutual donation would help to address the “very current and urgent need of students who, for reasons beyond their control, are unable to register for their studies this year.”
Ntaka added: “The SRC is very grateful for the R2-million donation from Old Mutual that will go towards the campaign and investing in students' futures. We believe that this is indeed a step in the right direction and stands as an example of what other corporates and companies should be doing in light of the current national crisis of financial exclusion.”
Last year, UCT provided financial assistance to 3 540 undergraduate students. The total student financial aid for 2015 to undergraduates totalled R550 million, which is up from R538 million in 2014 and R505 million in 2013. This year 3 819 students have been confirmed for financial assistance (2 867 on financial aid and 952 on GAP funding). The total cost is estimated to be well over R550 million.
The SRC's #FundingFutures campaign has raised R2,2 million to date, just over double its initial target.
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