Executive director of the UKZN Foundation, Professor Anesh Maniraj Singh.

Durban - The University of KwaZulu-Natal plans on making four students dreams come true by offering them full scholarships to pay for their education. 

This follows their Nelson Mandela Day campaign called "67 Rands for Mandela" where members of the public were invited to donate R67 to the cause. 

While the aim was to raise R1,5 million, R375 000 of that dream has been realised. 

"We were very overwhelmed by the response and generosity of the KZN public, including corporates and businesses that donated keeping in mind the tough economic climate," said the Executive director of the UKZN Foundation, Professor Anesh Maniraj Singh. 

He said that the campaign, which was broadcast live on East Coast Radio, was a first for the Foundation and is an ongoing campaign. 

Singh gave a special thank you to Price Waterhouse Coopers for pledging R60 000 over the next four years to students in the accounting field. 

So who would benefit from this? 

"Right now there are about 7 500 students who don't make the cut for NSFAS ( National Student Financial Aid Scheme) loan. 

"This loan is only for students whose annual household income is R350 000 or less, what about those students with an income of R351 000? 

"There are many academically deserving students who don't have the funds to study. Many have just paid their registration fees and don't really know what the next plan is. These are the student's needs that we hope to address."

Singh said that they hoped to offer four full bursaries this year- which would include payments for textbooks, tuition, meals, travel, and accommodation. 

"As the programme extends we may look at maybe benefitting more students by paying just their tuition fees."

Singh said while this was not addressing the #FeesMustFall issue, it was partly in response to it. 

"The reality is that while fee costs have not fallen, we have to look at solutions."

DAILY NEWS