Unisa will fund its students amid shortfall

Photo: Facebook.

Unisa students who rely on funding won’t have to worry about fees as millions are made available to help poor students this year.

In a statement, the university of South Africa said the increased demand of financial aid has tasked the university’s Foundation Board to look into its pockets to find money which can be used to pay for fees through bursaries.

“The persistent demand for free education saw fee increases being capped at 8 percent for the year 2017, which is a figure that continues to promote uncertainty and saw a wide financial gap for many other tertiary institutions in South Africa including Unisa.”

The board said it has set aside R28 million for the current academic year.

“After a meeting last month, we resolved to transfer an amount of R28 million from the Unisa Foundation Development Fund towards student bursaries,” read the statement.

The board’s chairperson Dr Jackie Mphafudi said that the transfer was part of the obligation by the board to distribute at least 75 percent of unrestricted money raised each year.

“Given the pressing demands of the missing middle, the board felt it was important to transfer these funds to financially needy and academically deserving students to further access and succeed in their studies.”

ALSO READ: Protesters again wreak havoc at Unisa

Mphafudi said the board is continually garnering the support of the public and private sectors as it views student access as a strategic project of the university.

“It [the board] is also involved in other moneyraising initiatives in order to lessen the fees gap created over the past two years.”

Parallel to these initiatives are the board’s moneyraising missions in the USA and the UK.

The Unisa Fund Inc. was established as a moneyraising vehicle for alumni, donors, and citizens based in the US, which ensures that donations comply with the laws governing moneyraising by not-for-profit organisations in the USA.

Unisa’s Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya said the generous contribution was received with excitement by student formations at Unisa.

“They know that students are going to benefit immensely from the contribution as the board supports their well-being.”

He said money was earmarked for distribution during this academic year and would be disbursed using tried and tested methods.

ALSO READ: Battle over Afrikaans at Unisa

“We will use the criteria used by NSFAS, where the money will go to financially needy students but who have the potential. The approach is also to allocate money for the first semester but also ensure that students qualifying for the second semester are taken care of.”

Makhanya, however, stated that the requests from students for financial support surpass the resources available.

“There is still a shortfall of funds and the university needs the support of its alumni, who are key in university’s moneyraising efforts”.

“This signifies that the demand for free education is not something that universities can resolve on their own but that the strong alumni base we have at Unisa can make significant financial contributions to alleviate the shortfall in student bursaries,” he concluded.

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

For free breaking and community news, visit Rekord’s websites:

Rekord East

Rekord North

Rekord Centurion

Rekord Moot

For more news and interesting articles, like Rekord on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram


Thato Mahlangu

Latest News


Next Story x
Education minister urges students to apply early for financial aid