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Old Mutual donates R3m to support students

- Wits University

The funds will be allocated to undergraduate and postgraduate students studying commerce, mathematics, engineering, information technology and law.

Iain Williamson, Finance Director and Interim CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, handed over the cheque to Professor Tawana Kupe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Advancement, Human Resources and Transformation

Old Mutual has contributed R3 million to the tuition and residence costs of students at Wits. The donation is directed at assisting students who cannot afford to pay university fees, but also do not qualify for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding.

The funds will be allocated to undergraduate and postgraduate students studying commerce (with a focus on actuarial and accounting studies), mathematics, engineering, information technology and law. Where appropriate, Old Mutual will also offer vacation work. 

Iain Williamson, Finance Director and Interim CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, handed over the cheque to Professor Tawana Kupe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Advancement, Human Resources and Transformation, and Peter Bezuidenhoudt, Director of the Advancement, Development and Fundraising Office (DFO), on Tuesday, 4 April 2017.

The DFO is in the process of identifying qualifying beneficiaries.

Williamson said: “As a responsible business, we know we have a vital role to play in helping to build a better and more inclusive society. This is why we make significant investments in socioeconomic development and actively support a range of education initiatives. Universities in turn play a vital role in providing the skills, research and innovations that the future success of the financial services industry depends on.”

Williamson added that the Centre for Software Engineering, run by Professor Barry Dwolatzky, is spearheading the kind of fintech learnings and innovation that can be of great benefit to financial services organisations and their customers, as innovations help to meet rapidly changing customer needs.One example is the Tshimologong Digital Precinct, an initiative that promotes the launch of successful ICT start-ups that create jobs and accelerate skills development. 

Professor Kupe thanked Old Mutual for their contribution to the success of youth and the education sector in South Africa. “We are grateful for this assistance from Old Mutual and hope it inspires others in the sector to come forward to help alleviate South Africa’s tertiary funding crisis,” he said.

“Adequate financial support ensures that students are able to focus on their studies and are not burdened by financial stress. A student who has adequate financial assistance is more likely to obtain excellent academic results and contribute meaningfully to the economy and society. Furthermore, this support means that universities are able to maintain world-class research standards."

The University of the Witwatersrand is ranked as one of the top two in all international rankings on the continent. Wits is committed to academic and research excellence and to remaining globally competitive and locally responsive. 

 

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