UKZN Academics Secure R26.5 Million to Settle Student Debt
A UKZN multidisciplinary team of academics from Criminology and Forensic Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology has collaborated with the Safety and Security, Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) to secure funding for their respective students.
UKZN lead facilitators include Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh, Dr Gerelene Jagganath, and Professor Sultan Khan; with Ms Linda Nxumalo and Ms Juwayria Amod from SASSETA.
Embarking on an agreement to facilitate funding for postgraduate students in these disciplines, lead facilitators have worked with the Deans of the Schools, Professor Matshepo Motoane (School of Applied Human Sciences) and Professor Vivian Ojong (School of Social Sciences) to achieve this coup for exit-level students, managing to secure R14.5 million to clear students’ historical debt and R12 million for bursaries, which in all, totals R26.5 million.
According to Singh, the funding is an incredibly significant accomplishment for the institutions involved as it will provide students with much-needed support. She added that the financial relief would also allow students to complete their respective degrees and enter the world-of-work debt-free because of the agreement that has been placed into the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Consequently, Khan stated, this is a windfall for disadvantaged students plagued with historical debt.
‘Our multidisciplinary collaboration has taken off and although a challenging task lies ahead of us, I am very grateful to be part of such a rewarding experience that benefits UKZN, the two Schools involved, and most importantly, our students,’ said Jagganath.
Words: Sinoyolo Mahlasela