UWC get financial boost
Amid the student protests that hit the higher education sector, UWC’s worries were lessened when the Hospital Welfare and Muslim Education Movement (HWMEM) injected more than R700 000 into the University’s coffers.
The R722 000 donation presented to the University on 19 November was part of HWMEM’s annual loan bursary contribution to UWC which started way back in 1972. The cheque handover was so important that it went ahead although the protests have prompted the University to cancel almost every appointment as it is temporarily unable to function fully.
Accepting the cheque, UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, thanked the HWMEM delegation for their contribution on behalf of the student beneficiaries and said the work that the organisation is doing is part of the hope the University has for the future.
“What is happening at the moment in higher education (the protests) is critically about affordability and access. It is about making sure that those deserving students are not denied access because of lack of funds. Unfortunately the media goes on about free education. So your initiative is part of what we should be saying - there are different ways to fund education. Fees is one element but there are other and better ways to ensure access. So I want to thank you.”
Pretorius said the University values that partnership with the association and would like to take part in its 75th anniversary celebrations in 2017. “Apart from sponsoring deserving students, if there are ways the University can assist your NGO activities, please call on us so it can be a real partnership and not just us being beneficiaries, but so that we can also contribute to your organisation beyond education”.
Handing over the cheque, HWMEM President Akbar Khalfe said his organisation is happy to be associated with UWC, and revealed that they are not only focusing on students from the Muslim communities as the name may suggest. His organisation is also involved in other community upliftment projects, he added.
Khalfe explained the reasons for their contributions being interest free loan bursaries. “We want to teach young students responsibility so that when they have to pay back the money years later, they think of another deserving student. We also get hundreds of applications from deserving students so we have to cut our pie in as many pieces as we can.”