I want to use the opportunity of climbing Mount Fuji to raise funds for financially-needy and academically deserving students - especially those from lower quintile schooling communities.
The current student financial aid system is under tremendous pressure despite high levels of state support since the establishment of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). This year - our milestone 10th year - has seen thousands of students who meet NSFAS’s funding criteria not being given awards or in many cases under-funded simply because the state system cannot support the student needs.
My view is that we - society at large - must find ways of augmenting the pressurized resources. Society must find creative ways of giving back. All of us have the capacity to make a difference. No matter how small it seems on the larger canvas of life's epic challenges.
I believe South Africans need to develop a strong culture of social solidarity and philanthropy as a way in which millions of our people can contribute towards social justice and greater equality. In this's sense, we are not folding our arms to wait for big Government and big corporations - as much as we are not exonerating them for their responsibilities, we are not mortgaging our futures on the power of their agency. By creating a strong culture of "giving back", the current generation can open the pathway for future generations - just like it too was the beneficiary of previous generations. This, after all, is the lineage of the human story. No society, no civilization has ever been successfully built without present generations investing in future generations.
NMMU is currently in the midst of the most creative periods of institutional growth and expansion - in addition to increasing enrolments in existing and new qualifications in its seven faculties, the University is also in the process of establishing a new Medical School and a new Marine and Maritime Campus in Port Elizabeth. The two new growth areas will entail significant financial investments in staff, infrastructure, technology and equipment, and crucially, new students in the coming decades. We believe this will create many new opportunities for the development of both Nelson Mandela Bay and George where our other campus is located.
By giving towards this campaign, you will be giving towards a most worthy cause, and making a contribution for the next generation.
I studied at university, also with the help of bursary funding - in addition to the contributions and sacrifices from my own family. The bursary support which I was privileged to secure came from people I never knew personally: generations of ordinary working men and women, most of whom never had the opportunity for a university education.
Back then, like it should be now, my bursary was a gift from the past to the present. I strongly believe that this is our generation’s responsibility. And there are thousands of different ways in which we all can give back. The Mount Fuji bursary campaign is just one way. I hope you will support this, and challenge me to complete the climb for the sake of our students.
Vice-Chancellor: Prof Derrick Swartz
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Some of the sponsors for the VC's climb to date are (at the back) Rogers Siyengo from Standard Bank, Julian Hadwen from Fedics and Brad Boonzaaier from Sanlam. In front are Bev Apsey and Enita Dryberg from Investec and Renee Whittal from PwC.
Tel: +27 (0) 41 504 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 41 504 2574 / 2731
PO Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa
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