R4000 raised in #WeCareUKZN campaign to slash historic student debt
Durban - The University of KwaZulu-Natal has launched the #WeCareUKZN campaign in a bid to raise funding for students who are unable to register due to unpaid fees or issues around historical debt.
On Friday, an amount of just over R4000 had been collected.
UKZN announced that management had made concessions to assist students by reducing the amount payable prior to registration, to a minimum of 15%.
"However, for many of our students, raising even this minimum fee is near impossible. We have launched this fundraising initiative to ensure that no academically sound student is left behind. We want to do all we can to raise funds and enable financially disadvantaged students to register by the closing date of March 6, 2020," the university said.
UKZN Foundation executive director, Anesh Maniraj Singh, said student debt at the end of December 2019 stood at R1,7 billion.
"UKZN operates in a region with two economic spectrums — one of economic wealth and vibrancy and another of intense poverty and underdevelopment. At leat 78% of our student population comes from households with incomes below R350 000 per annum. We have a proud history of embracing the least well-off members of our community, offering the largest possible number of qualified students a place to study, regardless of their financial background," he said.
Singh said n spite of this, they have continued to implement processes, through financial clearance concessions, that effectively ensured that no single UKZN student is required to pay 100% of their debt in full prior to registration.
When compared to other public institutions in South Africa, the UKZN registration and historic debt processes are amongst the most enabling for students, he said.
On Thursday, UKZN Alumni announced that it had donated R1 million towards historical debt and registration fees.