The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to our society. It has also fundamentally disrupted the higher-education system in terms of teaching, learning and assessment activities. In order to save the 2020 academic year, the University has spent over R30 000 000 to procure laptops and data packages for our students to enable them to continue with remote learning under Level 3 of the national lockdown. Students who could not continue with their studies due to unfavourable situations at home were reintegrated on our campuses to join the winter school. We would like to thank our staff, alumni and friends of the NWU who also donated to the NWU Covid-19 Response Fund to support our students.
Launch of Phase 2 of NWU COVID-19 Response Fund
The Covid-19 experience has challenged the University’s management to accelerate the implementation of the digital business strategy. As from 2021, all first-year students will be required to have access to a laptop or appropriate device. Having access to a laptop or device will enable the University to implement equitable and quality teaching and learning on campus and remotely. The University’s management is aware that some students will not be able to procure laptops because they come from struggling families. About 34% of our students are cash-paying and most of them fall in the so-called missing middle category. These students are not supported by the NSFAS and their parents’ salaries are not sufficient to afford higher-education tuition fees. Inspired by an ethic of care and to continue producing graduates for the country, the University has launched Phase 2 of the NWU Covid-19 Response Fund.
The aim of the project is to raise R15 000 000 to procure entry-level laptops to help these students to commence with their studies in 2021. The success of these students will help improve the living conditions of their families. We invite you to partner with us as we shape the future of our students.