20 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University students were yesterday given the chance to forge ahead with their postgraduate studies thanks to the university’s new Summit Scholarship.
The initiative, the brainchild of NMMU vice-chancellor Professor Derrick Swartz and set up with the help of NMMU Trust chief executive Renita Affat, is aimed at students who have done well academically and those requiring financial help.
Swartz, who was awarded a bursary as an undergraduate, said the #climb4nmmu campaign – which saw him summit Japan’s Mount Fuji to raise funds for the scholarship – was a journey filled with anxiety.
“Nothing in life, really precious, comes easily . . . [I am] delighted we can invest in your future,” he said to the 10 honours students who attended a bursary function yesterday.
The other 10 students who received bursaries were writing exams at the time.
The students received R50 000 each.
One recipient, psychology honours student Sithisa Magxwalisa, 21, from Port Elizabeth, said she had struggled to obtain funding for her studies because her family was not considered poor enough for her to qualify for financial aid but yet did not have the means to pay for her fees.
Her parents, both government employees, paid for the studies of her younger brother and three family members.
“[This scholarship] has drastically changed my study life . . . I used to spend most of my days in the library making use of short-loan books to compensate for the lack of my own textbooks,” she said.
Fellow recipient Mandilakhe Daba, 22, of Port Elizabeth, who is studying towards an honours degree in economics, said his parents had paid for the tuition of his older brother, who had graduated recently, and were paying the university fees of his younger brother.
“The stress is now off my family as they only need to pay for one student,” he said.
“I challenge all the recipients to contribute to South Africa.”
Last year the #climb4nmmu campaign raised R1.3-million and this year Swartz plans to raise much more when he and a team of 21 colleagues embark on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, Peru, in September.
Source: Herald Live