Access and Success - providing support for promising students
Expanding Residence Capacity
Growing student numbers have characterised UCT's consistent expansion during the past decade. With a staggering increase of 50% in our student population, the need to expand accommodation facilities has become urgent. A considerable number of UCT students are from beyond the Western Cape, with 20% from beyond South Africa. Ensuring that UCT continues to be the 'university of choice' for local and international students largely depends on our capacity to provide appropriate accommodation. Furthermore, many poorer students from surrounding townships are faced with extremely unstable living environments and unsafe travelling conditions, making it impossible for them to remain on campus for after-hours study. Accompanied by the challenges of insufficient mentoring and limited access to computer facilities at home, these students' academic achievement is adversely affected. Being in residence therefore becomes their most critical factor for success.
In our goal to create a secure environment for all our students, we recently constructed Obz Square, a brand new 900-bed residence on Main Road, Observatory which is close to the renowned Groote Schuur Hospital. We are now working to expand our residence capacity by a further 700 beds through the refurbishment of existing residences. In order to do this, we need support from you - our community of alumni and friends.
Your partnership in this project will give you the opportunity to leave a significant legacy. Each contribution of R100 000 (US$ 15 000 or GBP 10 000), donated between a one- to five year period, will be recognised on one of a series of plaques to be installed in Obz Square residence. In addition, your investment is a unique "gift that keeps on giving," since the annual rental of the residence room becomes permanent income for the university.
An easy way of contributing to UCT's student financial aid programme is through the MySchool fundraising initiative. Simply apply for a MySchool card and add University of Cape Town as a beneficiary. Whenever you swipe your card at any participating retailer that displays the MySchool logo at the tills, a small percentage of your purchase is then allocated to UCT as your beneficiary. The participating retailer pays the donation on your behalf. You can therefore make a contribution without it costing you a cent.
Researcher Development Programmes
As a 'research-led' university, UCT accepts the obligation of being one of the core sites in South Africa that aims to make the country competitive in the global knowledge economy and to educate its future leaders. However, to achieve this goal, the university must provide its researchers with the most appropriate forms of support, to enable them to produce at an optimal level.
UCT offers a number of capacity-building initiatives designed to support researchers at emerging, established (mid-career) and advanced stages of their academic careers. The Emerging Researcher Programme (ERP) provides research development grants, seminars, workshops, consultations and other mentoring activities to young researchers and academics, with the aim of developing their research profiles.
The Project for Enhancement of Research Capacity (PERC) supports mid-career academics who have progressed through the ERP and require ongoing structured support for their research. The support includes seminars and workshops on appropriate topics and individual meetings with current and retired senior academics. In addition, the university provides support to established researchers who drive large strategic projects (for example, participation in European Union Framework grants and the National Institutes of Health).
The continued success of these researcher development programmes relies on donor funding to supplement that which the university and the government's skills levy are unable to provide. The grants aspect of these programmes will not be sustainable once the Carnegie Corporation funds come to an end in December 2011. The total budget for these programmes is R17,3 million over three years.
Student Financial Aid
Insufficient funding presents a major barrier to students enrolling and succeeding in both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. Without money to fund this lifelong asset, unfulfilled life goals become the reality that many talented young people face.
UCT distinguishes itself with a long tradition of policies and programmes to ensure that talented undergraduate students in need are given an opportunity to enter the university and succeed here. These interventions include financial assistance and a range of psycho-social programmes to ensure that UCT’s graduates are globally competitive, locally relevant and socially responsive individuals, who are fully representative of South Africa’s diverse population.
Being a research-led university means that we must constantly produce graduates with advanced degrees: a formidable force of young specialists who directly contribute to the growth and development of the country. However, due to financial stress, many graduates seek employment as only a few are able to pursue advanced studies. The potential contribution that these innovative minds can bring to renewing social, political and economic systems is therefore lost.
Although UCT and the government commit considerable resources to funding postgraduates, the need is greater than we can currently meet. In addition, it is crucial that we provide assistance to candidates from African countries outside of South Africa, as well as refugee students. Your contribution will enable UCT to create additional scholarship support to fund meritorious postgraduate students in areas of strategic importance.
University's Science, Humanities, Law and Engineering Partnerships in Africa (USHEPiA)
As many gifted young academics are continually lured away from the continent, a great need exists to address the "brain drain" that compromises Africa's development. The University's Science, Humanities, Law and Engineering Partnerships in Africa (USHEPiA) are a response to this crisis, built on a partnership of eight universities in the central, eastern and southern region of the continent.
Having been in existence for 17 years, USHEPiA promotes collaboration among African universities with a view to addressing the staffing capacity needs of these institutions. The model for co-operation is the split-site training of Masters and Doctoral students with joint supervision by their home university and an away university that is selected by the applicant. To date, the programme has obtained funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The programme needs your added support to sustain this initiative. Your contribution will help secure future funding for full degree fellowships, as well as small grants to enable fellows to continue their research once they return to their home countries.
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From within SA
Tel: 021 650 4142
Fax: 021 650 4667
From outside SA
Tel: +27 21 650 4142
Fax: +27 21 650 4667