(Published - 3 November 2018)
The University of the Western Cape has entered into a new funding partnership with Engen for differently-abled students, and students in STEM fields. A launch of the partnership was held on 1 November 2018 - on the same day Engen celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The ceremony was attended by Engen delegates, UWC Institutional Advancement (IA) staff members and UWC Executive staff.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support, Professor Pamela Dube, told guests: “Our partnership with Engen is very important as it provides additional assistance to our strategies aimed at helping our differently-abled students. We appreciate the support and look forward to a long partnership with you”.
The Centre for Student Support Services (CSSS) is one of the key structures involved in the partnership, along with the Office for Students with Disabilities. These structures play a key role in helping differently-abled students. The Office sees to the special learning needs of 257 students.
“We are exceptionally grateful to Engen for investing in the future of the country by assisting differently-abled students, as well as those in the STEM fields. There is no doubt that Engen has helped to pave the way for their success,” shared Professor Dube.
Engen has a commitment to the skills development of and investment in differently-abled people. This has inspired the petroleum company to collaborate with South African universities to offer bursaries to students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Skills Development Manager at Engen, Mmalenyalo Galane, said: “Our partnership with UWC is to ensure that we make some headway in addressing scarce skills within the industry and hard-to-fill vacancies within the Engen business.”
The Head of Engen’s Transformation Department, Mrs Unathi Magida, shared that the partnership’s focus on differently-abled students is important to them because they know what it is like to be marginalised.
“We are a company who cares, therefore inclusivity is at the core of what we do in transformation; it becomes very important for us to do our bit to assist institutions that embrace people with disabilities”.
UWC’s Institutional Advancement Director, Patricia Lawrence, gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the University. “We are incredibly grateful for this partnership and the opportunity to come together in this way to do something so meaningful for our students,” she said.
Recipients who successfully complete their studies under this funding initiative will be given preference for inclusion into the Engen Graduate Development Programme.
A UWC alumnus, Sinoyolo Ndadani, is one of the many students involved in Engen’s graduate programme. “I am so grateful for this opportunity, for the skills that I have obtained at UWC, and I will definitely put them to use in this programme. Today is actually my first day,” said Ndadani.