“Guard these laptops with your life.” This is what Dr Manyane Makua, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, said to some of the 50 students that received laptops from the University’s Financial Aid Office on 17 June 2021.
Dr Makua appealed to the students individually, as he was handing out the laptops. He defined the initiative by Universities South Africa (USAf), Standard Bank, SETA, and MUT as excellent. Dr Makua said that he was “grateful to the Financial Aid Office for pulling out such a brilliant initiative. Dr Makua added that he hoped the students would take advantage of the opportunity they were given. Dr Makua appealed to the students to look after the laptops as they would be of assistance to them even when they have graduated from the University.
The Manager of the University’s Financial Aid Office, Andrew Kubone, said the laptops were given to the students who are defined as the ‘missing middle’. These are students who do not qualify for the NSFAS support because of their parents’ salary scale, but the parents find it hard to meet the financial needs of their children registered at universities. Kubone said this assistance was from Standard Bank and the USAf. The initiative is part of the R290 million project meant for the country’s universities.
The process to secure laptops for students started in 2020, with Dr Linda Meyer of USAf Dr Meyer applauded the University’s attitude, and it was heart-warming to work with the team led by Mr Kubone. Dr Meyer pointed out that the University management, and its relevant office worked hard to secure the laptops for the students. She added that USAf was working “relentlessly to advance the interests of the students”.
Two Accounting second year students, Samkelisiwe Ndlovu, and Ayanda Mbili, said they appreciated the gesture. Ndlovu said she was “very grateful”. The laptop was going to be of great help to her, as students have to do online learning because of the Covid-19 pandemic.