UKZN Vice-Chancellor Pledges Support for Deserving Students
Newly-installed Vice-Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarveld, has committed UKZN to continuing to ‘fight for approaches and resources to ensure the success in a sustainable fashion of the maximum number of underprivileged and academically sound students’.
He made this clear during his address at his Installation ceremony at the MH Joosub Hall on the Westville campus.
Van Jaarsveld said it was important for universities to prepare students for the emerging economy rather than the present day one, emphasising that education was one of the ways of narrowing societal inequalities.
‘I truly believe we can support our youth using approaches other than simply increasing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursary funding. As it is, NSFAS, the Minister of Higher Education and Training and the government are hard pressed to significantly increase the available bursary funds,’ said van Jaarsveld.
The Vice-Chancellor urged government to engage with business and society to create mechanisms to complement NSFAS.
‘Can we incentivise corporations and financial houses to contribute to a NSFAS supplementary fund, can we contemplate a graduate tax where people pay government back once they are employed, or explore mechanisms for assisting banks to provide loans to students at cheaper rates? Collectively this suite of instruments could craft a more sustainable student funding landscape for the entire system and provide a platform which supports our national ambitions.’
Central SRC President, Mr Dithobe Mosana, congratulated the Vice-Chancellor and wished him well on his appointment on behalf of the student body and student leadership.