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UJ students to walk for education

Students of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) will hit the road by foot to raise funds for tertiary studies as the UJ Future Walk returns for a second time this year on Saturday, 20 May 2017.

The issue of student funding has created a robust debate within educational and government institutions. This became more evident as South Africa’s higher education institutions saw mass student support for the call of free education, the past few years.

In an attempt to raise awareness of student funding, UJ, once again, is taking proactive steps to raise funds for these students with a 5 km walkathon and an 8 km run.

“By participating in the Future Walk, students and the surrounding community can help the University to ensure a future for our students. UJ has already invested millions in student bursaries over the past few years. However, this investment is still not enough to assist all our students. The funds raised from the UJ Future Walk will go a long way in ensuring this does not happen again,” says Ms Nolwazi Mamorare, Executive Director: Financial Governance and Revenue at UJ.

Ms Mamorare says that it is encouraging to note that the students, as part of UJ’s fundraising initiatives, decided to join the University efforts to raise funds for other students who can’t afford the tuition fees.

She adds, fundraising initiatives are no easy task, particularly for those universities committed to educating the poor, as the overall quality of students entering university reflects deficits in the schooling system which is forcing university managements to invest heavily in academic and socio-psycho support for many students entering the system.

“In the case of UJ, on the student access and success front, the University has been exemplary. UJ has a very strong focus in obtaining more bursaries for students and continuously engages corporates, the SETAs, local and national government departments and the City of Johannesburg to fund students. In 2016, the University’s Missing Middle campaign secured over a R100M through which the University, working with the UJ Student Representative Council (UJSRC), were able to assist over 3000 students by paying their registration fees and minimum initial payments for the 2016 academic year. However, students require support for the balance of their fees and other needs. The average cost of funding a UJ student for a year currently stands at R85 000. This includes tuition, accommodation, books and other living allowances. “

Ms Mamorare concludes: “UJ continues to explore pragmatic solutions to assist students who qualify for funding and academically deserve to study at a university on a socio-economic level. The University also continues to invest heavily in academic support structures to bridge the gap and to ensure that the bright eyed dreams that enter our corridors are fulfilled. The University has created this avenue where its alumni, employees, students and the community at large can step up to make a difference to our share future. While the public might not see the funding of University students as their responsibility, youth unemployment, crime, poverty and socio-economic problems affect all of us. By donating much needed funds, no matter how big or small, the man on the street becomes the solution.”

The Future Walk is to be held in Auckland Park at the University’s AW Muller Stadium, located at the Bunting Road Campus. The Discovery Medical Aid Scheme support this initiative and its members will be awarded points if they partake in the walk.

To participate, register on Quicket at https://www.quicket.co.za/events/28028-uj-future-walk-2017/#/.or pledge R20 by SMS UJFutureWalk to 40287.

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