Mining sector SETA funds 55 MUT students

Felicitus Lebetha, and Vutomi Chauke, (standing) both Bursary Officers at the MQA, guiding the students as they sign their contacts

This week, 55 Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) students walked away with the feeling of satisfaction as the Mining Qualifications Authority met with them to orientate and sign funding contracts.

Both Cynthia Nkosi, Senior Officer: Bursaries at the University’s Financial Aid Office, and Felicitus Lebetha at the MQA, confirmed that the students would be given 100% bursary to cover their tuition, accommodation, books and meals. Most of these are new students.

MQA funds students from first year to Master’s level. Nkosi said most of these students are from the Faculty of Engineering, and a few from the Faculty of Natural Sciences. They are from all levels of study, Nkosi said.

Nkosi said the funded students had to be academically deserving and financially needy. They need to pass their subjects by 50% or more. There is no capping, Nkosi said. The students have to apply every year.

Nkosi said the MQA has been sponsoring MUT students for more than eight years, and the number of beneficiaries has been growing every year.

Lebetha said they were assisting all 26 public universities and TVETs in an attempt mitigate the economic circumstances the students find themselves in.

“MQA is hoping to bridge the skills and education gap between the youth and the mining and mineral sector. With the current economic situation of unemployment rate, MQA would like to ease the pressure on our students,” said Lebetha.

Lebetha added that they wanted the students to have suitable conditions that are “conducive to learning”. Lebetha said that they also fund 20% of students outside the Engineering and Build Environment fields. Some of these students are from Information Technology and Business study programmes.

Anele Ngubeni, an Advanced Diploma in Analytical Chemistry, said she was very grateful of the assistance from MQA; MQA has been assisting Ngubeni from first year. Ngubeni is from Estcourt, in the KwaZulu-Natal’s Midlands.