ISFAP bursary fund representatives take special tour of NWU
On 18 November Prof Bismark Tyobeka, principal and vice-chancellor of the North-West University (NWU), hosted Morné du Toit, chief executive officer, and Jethro Hill, IT operations manager of the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP), for a strategic discussion and a special tour of the Potchefstroom Campus.
ISFAP implements a unique funding model to sustainably cater for the higher-education needs and expenses of South Africa’s poor and middle-class students, mainly students aiming for careers in occupations of high demand. These occupations include actuaries, accountants, engineers, medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, data scientists and prosthetists.
The NWU and Prof Tyobeka are therefore passionately committed to finding ways to address the plight of the “missing middle” and to source funding for students. The invitation extended to the ISFAP executives was one such initiative to achieve the above-mentioned goals.
NWU donors beseeched to help address the current inadequate funding structure to support postgraduate studies
There is an urgent need to address the problem of inadequate funding for postgraduate studies in South Africa. This was the recurring consensus during the recent North-West University (NWU) donor event held in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Speakers included Dr Anna Mokgokong, chancellor of the NWU; Dr Bismark Tyobeka, principal and vice-chancellor; and Percy Moleke, chair of the NWU Donor Council. “We need to develop our country and its economy from a pool of postgraduates," said Dr Tyobeka. Undergraduates cannot sustain the growth and development of a country. A first qualification is not advantageous in the current South African labour market. Therefore, it is crucial to encourage our students to pursue postgraduate degrees,” he said.
Dr Tyobeka cited a variety of issues that have an impact on higher education, underlining the high percentage – 49% – of NWU students who are dependent on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding for their study as one of the most significant. He said, “Nearly half our student enrolment is supported by NSFAS, and this poses a very serious risk because of the worrying current trends in the government.” Due to the system's current inadequacies, there is no assurance that the students who depend on NSFAS will receive their monthly stipend. The NSFAS organisation insists on managing the entire operation autonomously despite the fact that it is a systemically deficient organisation that is still relatively young. Just recently, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) announced that it will open an investigation into possible misuse of funds at the NSFAS.
Music students depart on exchange programme to Sweden
Four music students from the North-West University (NWU) recently departed for a five-month study trip to Stockholm in Sweden.
This is part of the Linnaeus-Palme Exchange Programme funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), with additional funding from the Hillensberg Trust.
This is the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 that NWU students were able to travel and take part in the exchange programme.
According to Prof Santisa Viljoen from the School of Music and Conservatory at the NWU, the exchange programme affords the students the opportunity to focus on their theoretical and practical learning experience in an inter- and multicultural environment.
“The goals of the Royal College of Music (KHM) in Stockholm centre on gaining knowledge of methods for multicultural teaching, methods that can be focused on the music teacher training programme, as well as skills in performing and teaching African music,” Prof Viljoen said.
The Hillensberg Trust was established in the late 1970s and the bursary grant was launched in 2017. Since its inception, students at the NWU have received bursaries to the value of more than R5 million.
The trust funds students who are studying towards a qualification in the fields of medicine, technology, visual arts or music. It targets students who have enrolled for a second qualification, as well as missing-middle students – those who cannot afford university fees but do not qualify for NSFAS funding.
Celeste Rossouw, senior specialist for stakeholder relations at the NWU, was at the airport to wish the excited students bon voyage for their once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“The NWU is extremely grateful to the Hillensberg Trust for the funding and for assisting the students with financial support during their stay overseas, and we hope to continue with the partnership for many years to come,” Rossouw said.
Feenix crowdfunding platform benefits 112 NWU students with almost R2,2 million
Students wanting to see if they are eligible to fundraiser for their studies on Feenix can go to feenix.org
Feenix, the crowdfunding platform that was established in 2017 on the back of the fees must fall movement, is proving to be an important part in the lives of students at the NWU. Since the first disbursement received in October 2017, to date Feenix was able to support a 112 NWU students with a total of R2 187 275.33.
According to Cara-Jean Petersen, Feenix Student Advancement Manager, all the money donated goes directly towards eradicating the debt of students who fundraise for their studies on the Feenix platform. “We are privileged to be in a position to assist in making tertiary education more accessible and affordable for students,” Petersen said.
How this impact students are perfectly summed up by a funded Feenix Student who said: “Studying while knowing your academic fees are paid for without any issues, is a stress relief. Hence, I became more focused and determined to reach the highest level or results attainable in my ability. Without financial stress, I was able to focus on my academics which empowers me to work hard.”
Liquid Intelligent Technologies gives R2,8 million in bursaries to students
The North-West University is excited to announce that Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) once again demonstrated its continued and valued support towards the NWU and its students by giving R2,8 million for bursaries, which will benefit 32 qualifying students.
According to Warren Makgowe, Director Stakeholder Relations at the NWU, the leadership at the university is always humbled when they experience how corporates in South Africa are becoming more involved in the development of the future of the country. “Our students are the leaders of tomorrow and to see how Liquid actively takes part in the growth of the students is inspiring,” he said. “Not only do they sponsor bursaries for our students, but Liquid Intelligent Technologies also presents an annual Graduate Programme where students in a variety of disciplines can apply for an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Anonymous donor gives R2,7m to NWU causes
Not every hero wears a cape. And some heroes choose anonymity, making sure their name or brand doesn’t deflect attention from the causes they support.
The NWU recently received such an anonymous gift of R2 746 000 to be distributed among various projects and programmes at the university.
“Those who give their time and money to support the good causes of the university are truly heroes of society,” said Ben Zaaiman, senior manager at Development and Fundraising at the NWU. “Although we would love to reveal our treasured benefactor to the world, we understand and honour their wish for anonymity.”
The NWU will direct the contribution towards bursaries for students; eradicating student debt; our Ikateleng scholar support programme and the Meal-a-Day nutrition support scheme, as well as research projects at the university.
Ben invites alumni, friends of the university and businesses to join this donor in supporting the NWU in its dream of producing dynamic graduates who will transform South Africa, the continent and the world.
“Our donors believe in the dream of the NWU and are committed to changing the lives of our students and communities,” he says.
Click here to make a contribution
Eskom Development Foundation injects another R2,9 million into NWU's Ikateleng project
Ikateleng, a long-running scholar support project of the North-West University (NWU), has received another R2,9 million from the Eskom Development Foundation.
To celebrate the generous donation, the foundation’s CEO, Cecil Ramonotsi, recently joined the NWU’s acting vice-chancellor, Prof Linda du Plessis, at the Ikateleng Centre at the Dr Molefi Oliphant Secondary School in Bophelong.
“Despite many challenges Ikateleng continues to set high standards. There is a lot that other educational and developmental programmes can learn from this project. I do not doubt that your alumni can today be found occupying many leadership positions as doctors, engineers, leaders in commerce and industry, teachers and, perhaps, even within Eskom itself,” said Cecil in front of a large audience of Grade 10 to 12 learners from the surrounding areas.
Ikateleng provides supplementary teaching in mathematics, economics, business studies, accounting, life science, physical science and English to high school learners from Grade 10 to 12. This flagship initiative started in 1988 and now boasts six centres from Kimberley to the Vaal Triangle. This year, more than 1 400 learners from a multitude of schools have enrolled in the additional lessons given by dedicated teachers almost every Saturday.
Top Ikateleng learners receive laptops
With the world still facing the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the NWU and its loyal donors came together to make life a little easier for a group of talented, hard-working students.
To assist our students with their studies, PPS handed over laptops to the value of R200 000 to last year’s top Ikateleng-learners who are now registered across the NWU’s three campuses.
Maximising educational success with Tiger Brands’ Plates4Days
The North-West University (NWU), in conjunction with Tiger Brands’ Plates4Days, launched the 2022 Meal-a-Day programme at its Mahikeng Campus on 22 February.
The Tiger Brands’ Plates4Days programme offers nutritional support for students who do not have access to proper meals. Qualifying students are provided with a nutritious meal each day, allowing them to better focus on their academic success.
More than 500 first-year students on the campus were introduced to the programme during the NWU’s Registration and Orientation week.
Ikateleng donor spends the day with fundraising team
The Department of Development and Fundraising at the NWU recently hosted one of the loyal donors of the Ikateleng project in Potchefstroom. During the visit the group manager of Corporate Marketing and Communication at NWK in Lichtenburg, Johan Bezuidenhout, received feedback on the results of the learners and continued support for 2022 was discussed. According to Bezuidenhout, one of NWK’s values is a co-responsibility in the workplace and the community and to give back to those communities in which they operate.
21 February 2022
A story of hope
For the past four years the Hillensberg Trust has been making the dreams of several North-West University (NWU) students come true.
The trust was established in the late 1970s and the bursary grant was launched in 2017. Since its inception, students at the NWU have received bursaries to the value of over R5 million.
NWU’s Mahikeng Campus Science Centre receives another mobile lab
The Science Centre on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Mahikeng Campus recently received its second state-of-the-art mobile science laboratory, courtesy of the Sasol Foundation.
The mobile lab, which is fitted with science equipment, will be shared by several disadvantaged schools around Mahikeng in a bid to strengthen the teaching of science.
“The Sasol Foundation views itself as a vehicle through which it can be a catalyst for change in our communities and society at large,” says Vusi Cwane, head of the Sasol Foundation.
The NWU and its stakeholders lend a helping hand
North-West University (NWU), together with its stakeholders, understands that students need a helping hand to achieve their goals and dreams during these challenging times.
While teaching and learning have moved online at most universities, thousands of students across the country find themselves without the necessary equipment to successfully continue with their studies.
Since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, the NWU and its stakeholders have been committed to making the lives and learning experiences of students easier.
The NWU’s finances during Covid-19
Over the past number of years there has been a decrease in funding in real terms from the government to universities across the country.
The Covid-19 pandemic has not only created a lot of panic and uncertainty, but also magnified and exacerbated the mounting financial pressure on institutions of higher learning.
To this end, institutions have had to find creative ways to generate income and manage their cash flow.
Ikateleng helping students get distinctions
Sabata Abram Mafobokoane, who was part of the Ikateleng initiative in 2020, made headlines after attaining eight distinctions for his National Senior Certificate. Ikateleng has been in existence for approximately 33 years and provides supplementary teaching in mathematics, economics, business studies, accounting, life sciences, physical sciences and English to high school learners from Grade 10 to Grade 12.
Sabata, who was a learner at Poelano Secondary School in Evaton, Gauteng, started attending Ikateleng on 1 February 2020.
A story of hope
For the past four years the Hillensberg Trust has been making the dreams of several North-West University (NWU) students come true.
The trust was established in the late 1970s and the bursary grant was launched in 2017. Since its inception, students at the NWU have received bursaries to the value of R5 million.
The trust funds students who are studying towards a qualification in the fields of medicine, technology, visual arts or music. It targets students who have enrolled for a second qualification, as well as missing middle students – those who can’t afford university fees but do not qualify for NSFAS funding.
In this together
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how organisations, institutions and people across the globe need to support each other - now more than ever. The North-West University (NWU) has been fortunate to receive donations from various businesses, alumni and friends over the years, and especially during lockdown.
To thank its donors for their immense contribution, the NWU recently hosted a dinner for the NWU Board of Donors in Johannesburg. During the event the board was also updated on latest NWU developments, and two new members were elected.
Prof Linda du Plessis, deputy vice-chancellor for planning and Vanderbijlpark Campus operations said the NWU is still a contact university and the recent pandemic has proved that everyone should focus on reskilling themselves for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She added that the university is working on offering more short courses and micro programmes that will help people reskill themselves.
Prof Du Plessis thanked the board for their donations and contributions, and added that students who have been assisted with donations and bursaries should pay it forward, which in turn will give the next generation of students’ access to higher education.
NWU secures laptop donation
With the world facing an unprecedented challenge in the form of the global Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen stakeholders coming together to combat this pandemic.
The North-West University (NWU) played its part by supporting students with laptops while also offering support to staff and communities surrounding its campuses.
To further assist our students with their studies, the Bakubung Platinum mine made a donation of twenty laptops to the university on 5 February 2021.
With excitement and after accepting the laptop donation on behalf of the NWU, Prof Daryl Balia, Deputy Vice-chancellor for Information Technology and Potchefstroom Campus Operations explained that along with the support of Council, the university is fast tracking the implementation of the NWU Digital Business Strategy. From this year, all first year students are expected to have access to a device, ordinarily a laptop. And therefore the donation came at the right time.
NWU brand stores prove that charity does indeed begin at home
With the world facing an unprecedented challenge in the form of the global Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen everyone coming together to combat this pandemic. The North-West University (NWU) played its part and recently launched the NWU Covid-19 Response Fund as a means of supporting students with laptops/devices while also offering support to staff and all communities surrounding its campuses.
Following this, the NWU brand stores showed their commitment by making a donation of R70 000 towards this fund.
Thanks Sanlam! Almost R10 million to strengthen NWU Ikateleng project
Although the North-West University (NWU) is dedicated to academic excellence and superior research, it is also committed to bettering people’s lives in the communities it serves.
One way the NWU has been paying it forward is through its successful Ikateleng project that has been contributing to the development of discerning learners for the past 32 years.
Well-known insurance, investment and financial planning company Sanlam noted Ikateleng’s great success and have been supporting this deserving project by donating of close to R10 million. In 2019 the Ikateleng project received R 2,2m, and this year Sanlam will donate R 3,5m. An estimated R 3,75m will be donated for 2021.
Another successful Ikateleng project for the NWU
The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Ikateleng project has been empowering school children from disadvantaged backgrounds for the past 32 years. The NWU launched the 2019 Ikateleng project in Potchefstroom, Vanderbijlpark, Mahikeng and Lichtenburg Read more
Ikateleng – which means empower yourself – provides supplementary teaching in mathematics, economics, business studies, accounting, life science, physical science and English to high school learners from Grade 10 to 12. In 2019, 500 learners enrolled in the Ikateleng project.
Learners shine through NWU’s Ikateleng project
When Grade 12 graduates of the Ikateleng project sit for their matric exams, they can be confident that the North-West University (NWU) has given them the tools to empower themselves.