The University of Johannesburg (UJ) remains resolute in its determination to support its ‘missing middle’ students, and in just five months, the University has already raised R147M, exceeding its 2017 year-end target of R120 million.
The feat comes after the Institution embarked on a series of fundraising initiatives. One such initiative was the Future Walk (held on Saturday, 20 May, 2017), that saw staff, students and the surrounding community taking proactive steps to raise awareness and funds to support the studies of ‘missing middle’ students. On this occasion R2M was raised towards the University’s ‘missing middle’ fund.
At the time of its launch in February 2016, the ‘Missing Middle’ campaign was the biggest fundraising campaign ever undertaken by a South African institution of higher learning. The campaign secured, in 2016, R101M through the collective efforts of the University management, working with Council, Convocation and the UJ Student Representative Council (UJSRC). As a result, the University was able to assist 3,858 ‘missing middle’ students to pay tuition fees for the 2016 academic year.
“For 2017, we had set ourselves the target of raising R120M in order to assist close to 4,000 ‘missing middle’ students pay their tuition fees. We have managed to exceed the target through generous contributions from business and industry, the public sector, our suppliers and the UJ Future Walk. We will continue these efforts during the remainder of 2017 to expand our support to academically deserving ‘missing middle’ students who are in dire need of financial assistance, ” said Prof Ihron Rensburg, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UJ.
Although, the University has exceeded its year-end target, many academically deserving ‘missing middle’ students still require support. The average cost of funding a UJ student for a year currently stands at R85 000. This includes tuition, accommodation, books, transport and other living allowances.
Prof Rensburg concludes: “It is encouraging to see the extraordinary goodwill that business and industry, the public sector and the general public have shown to the University and its students. I am also deeply grateful to our Council, alumni and Convocation, the UJ UJSRC, senior University leaders and staff for their generous response that have contributed immensely to us reaching this new milestone. I do though still appeal for further contributions to this honorable cause for it is in this manner that we demonstrate our commitment to human solidarity and shared human progress. By donating to the ‘Missing Middle’ campaign we are also concretely contributing to shaping and empowering the country's future leaders.”