On Wednesday, 07 September 2022, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) held the Vice-Chancellor’s Merit Bursary Fund Launch. This Launch was held at 2Ten Hotel, Sibasa. 

Dr Bernard Nthambeleni – Vice-Chancellor and Principal

In his Keynote Address, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni described this launch as a very important event for UNIVEN because it’s impact will be felt. He said that “Research and Innovation improve productivity and help people improve their lives”. For South Africa to compete internationally, we will need highly trained students and researchers who can produce good research outputs. We need to produce responsible leaders who contribute to our economy. 

Dr Nthambeleni further mentioned that there is a dire need to produce ethical leaders of tomorrow. “It is a known fact that our country produces graduates that South Africa requires. Higher education sector suffers limited budgets, yet they are expected to do well with shortage of funds. We need to find ways to fund our students ourselves. We have lot of students who are unable to afford tuition fees and we need to find ways to address this challenge. As UNIVEN we will not turn away a student because of lack of funding, if a learner has passed well and has met the requirements, we will admit the learner. We want to assist these students because it takes a village to raise a child, so we invite all stakeholders to contribute in this fund to assist our students.” 

Mr Botwe Kraziya – UNIVEN CFO

When giving the background and call for support, UNIVEN CFO, Mr Botwe Kraziya said our students are financially challenged and they need our support for a better life through education. He mentioned that through education, one can find a job that will assist them to live a better life. “Communities of Vhembe District rely on this University for a better life, and we are fighting the battle of student funding on daily basis. Let us invest in young people, let us invest our money in those who we believe are the future of this country. If you invest in a graduate, you will never regret.” He advised attendees to contribute towards the Vice-Chancellor’s Merit Bursary Fund and to support these future leaders. 

Advocate Edward Lambani – University Registrar

When rendering opening and welcome address, Advocate Edward Lambani said, “we are meeting this morning on a journey that all of us had been working towards. we have realised that we need to create and open doors to provide education for all. The government has tried its best with NSFAS, but it does not cover for all.”

Ms Elelwani Netshituni – Regional Manager – Limpopo/Mpumalanga Bankseta

In her message of support, Limpopo, Mpumalanga Bankseta Regional Manager, Ms Elelwani Netshituni mentioned that there are 21 SETAs in south Africa and over the past years these SETAs have funded a lot of UNIVEN graduates. She further mentioned that they have a good relationship with UNIVEN. “We have produced a lot of graduates who today are leaders out there. Our focus is on the performance of our students; we don’t only look at the background of the learner or student.” She advised attendees and the public to donate and contribute towards this Bursary Fund because it takes the village to raise a child. Amongst other things, she advised UNIVEN to apply for PhD funding. 

Mr Sibusiso Mkhonto – SRC President

SRC President, Mr Sibusiso Mkhonto mentioned that the SRC appreciates and supports this initiative because it is going to have a great impact on students. SRC is also working on raising funds through the Advancement Unit. We welcome this Merit Bursary Fund, and we will in future be the ones funding this Merit Bursary as graduates of this University. 

Prof Nosisi Feza – DVC Research and Postgraduate Studies

In her vote of thanks, DVC Research and Postgraduate Studies, Prof Nosisi Feza said she is very proud to be at UNIVEN. She encouraged students and learners to never give up in life irrespective of the challenges that they come across. “Challenges are there to make us stronger. I am proud of UNIVEN because it has the leadership that acknowledges their background.” Prof Feza continued to say that there is a funding from SETA worth 4.5 million that is going to fund postgraduate students in the Faculty of Health Sciences. “We are growing, we need to understand that we have a role to contribute in our economy to assist our students fund their studies. We need to explore opportunities for funding, and we need to keep the light burning for the African child,” concluded Prof Feza.

Attendees of the Vice-Chancellor’s Merit Bursary Fund Launch 

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 12 September 2022 

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