The University of Cape Town (UCT) hosted a golf day at the Steenberg Golf Club in Tokai on Friday, 4 November, in a bid to raise funds for the Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to top academic achievers.
In the words of Senior Manager: Corporates, BBBEE & Foundations Fundraising, Stafford Bomester, “It was a calm day. It was a windy day. It was a sunny day. It was an early day. It was a late day. It was a great day.”
One could not have asked for a better moment to host a fundraising event in Cape Town. Clear skies and calm weather were the order of the day and participants were treated to near-perfect golfing conditions as they teed off to raise funds for a worthy cause.
The VC’s Scholarship, which was instituted in 2016, has provided financial assistance to many top-performing students at UCT over the years. The aim, according to Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation, Student Affairs and Social Responsiveness Professor Elelwani Ramugondo, is to drive excellence both at the university and within the professional ranks of South Africa.
“Today’s event, as you’ve already heard, is focused for the first time on the UCT VC Scholarship Fund. This fund targets really talented, young South African people and helps them to embrace the opportunities that higher education can provide,” she said.
“At the beginning of this year, for example, we awarded the VC’s Scholarship to 17 of the country’s top matriculants, who are now completing their first-year studies at UCT. We want to start as early as possible to develop the potential of our young people.
The UCT Golf Day was a swinging success.
“The UCT VC Scholarship Fund was established in 2016 and has assisted more than 660 students with scholarships, with a total of about R24.4 million in financial assistance. Unlike UCT’s entrance scholarships, the VC Scholarship can be reviewed for two years or renewed for two years, providing recipients who meet the academic requirements with the support they need.”
The day’s activities saw 27 four balls from the same number of businesses come together for a day of fundraising and team building. The sense of community that permeates events like the golf day, Professor Ramugondo noted, is of particular importance for institutions such as UCT.
“Working within teams is of particular interest to us at UCT. We have more than 36 500 individuals on campus, 30 400 of whom are students and 6 500 of whom are staff members. We are each developing our best game in teaching, learning, research, community engagement, and all the support and management functions that keep the institution moving forward.
“While universities are known for rewarding and recognising individual effort, we know that for an institution to continue growing its reputation, it really depends on our strength as a community – and it’s really about teamwork,” she said.
“Our transformative purpose is to unleash human potential to create a fair and just society. That is the guiding purpose for UCT’s Vision 2030, which we also created as a community.”
Ramugondo added that this focus on community is especially relevant to the university’s Vision 2030. “Our transformative purpose is to unleash human potential to create a fair and just society. That is the guiding purpose for UCT’s Vision 2030, which we also created as a community.
“Our game plan is to instil our students and staff with this sense of purpose as individuals and as an institution to unleash human potential and help to shape a future of hope for our children and their children,” she explained.
“One of the reasons we work with transformation at UCT is so that we maximise on the diversity that perhaps only exists in our context, given our difficult history and complex present. Teamwork in research is also important because no single discipline can solve complicated problems alone.
“At UCT, we encourage students to develop a culture of learning, leadership and social engagement. Just as it takes practice to send a tee shot flying down a tricky fairway, young people need opportunities to practise the way their talents find expression in the real world,” Ramugondo added.
“We hope that by joining us here today, you share our vision to unleash human potential through higher education. We’re happy to work with you to support your corporate visions.”
A word from our sponsors
Representatives from headline sponsors Tata Consulting Services (TCS) and Growthpoint Properties, noted that corporate institutions and those of higher education need to work together to move South Africa forward.
“We believe, as a business, that the opportunities for [TCS] are exactly where we find ourselves now. We as businesses need to come together and we need institutions of higher learning like UCT to solve economic and socio-economic problems of our country,” said Rochelle Blaauw, localisation compliance leader for TSC in South Africa.
“The idea is to create and build student accommodation to try and mitigate the effects of the tremendous shortage of affordable, good quality student accommodation in South Africa.”
“At TCS, we have made a decision that working with UCT to provide economic and socio-economic support is important to us, because academia is what makes change in this world. We also believe that we are in the right position to take our country forward and we hope that everyone here today has their eyes fixed on the future of South Africa.”
Adding to this, Group CEO of Growthpoint Properties, Norbert Sasse, noted that the provision of decent, affordable student accommodation is essential for ensuring our tertiary education institutions are able to produce great graduates.
“In terms of our partnership with UCT, we’ve created the Student Residential Fund, which we launched late last year. The idea is to create and build student accommodation to try and mitigate the effects of the tremendous shortage of affordable, good quality student accommodation in South Africa. So, we really do look forward to fostering the partnership with UCT,” he said.
Supporting a worthy cause
The scholarship is valued at R100 000 per annum and are awarded to top academic achievers based on academic results from the previous year and valid for three years subject to the applicant being named on the dean’s merit list in their faculty. The scholarship covers charges relating to tuition and residences.
The scholarship is awarded to learners who:
Students who receive a VC’s Scholarship are identified when final matric examination results are released and assessed. The current applicants will be notified of the award by the university in January 2023.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.