A new Masters Bursary fund was launched by Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) alumni last Friday to aid needy and deserving students. The launch was held at a fundraising dinner organised by the Alumni Relations department at the Durban International Convention Centre. The dinner was also held to recognise recent achievements by our alumni including the new MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Themba Mthembu and Mlamuli Buthelezi, group chief operations officer for Transnet Limited.
The Masters Bursary fund was established to address the thematic area of student access to quality higher education, which is a direct response by MUT to challenges that its student body faces because of the limited availability of bursaries within the higher education sector. The university faces ongoing challenges of providing affordable and accessible higher education opportunities to the majority of its students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds. He said that some of the challenges could be addressed by the establishment of bursary schemes and scholarships, which would go a long way in ensuring that students were able to access tertiary education and, at the same time, succeed at their studies.
Zama Sishi, Director: Stakeholder Relations Management said: “The provision of student bursaries is central in facilitating learner support and in ensuring that a sustainable service is offered to the most deserving students with acceptable levels of academic merit.” Sishi said a number of alumni pledged 25 work integrated learning opportunities and a total of R365000 was raised towards the bursary fund. Sishi said they will be hosting a similar event for the Gauteng-based alumni before the end of the year.
Themba Mthembu, MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development spoke about his days as a young chemical engineering student at MUT. “The struggle continues today as was evident in the recent fees must fall campaign. If we as MUT alumni want to play a role in advancing development within South Africa, one way of doing this is to support our alma mater. This is way of contributing to skills development.” He continued: “As alumni, it’s important to understand the political economy of South Africa. This will help us to become activists for change in addressing poverty and inequality. We must want a rural child to get the same break as many of us did and ensure that his or her future is not held hostage by poverty.”
Nearly 100 alumni attended the event, including Vusi Khumalo, President of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Sifiso Buthelezi, National Assembly member and Sifiso Mdakane, Deputy National Commissioner of Correctional Services.