University of Johannesburg received a R10 million donation from ABSA to support the funding of education for students at the institution.

UJ’s VC, Ihron Rensburg confirmed this saying the donation is meant to support the ‘missing middle’ students who aren’t qualified to get aid from the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

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Speaking, the vice-chancellor declared that UJ will always support free education for the poor. Rensburg thanked various sectors for helping the university address the funding crisis. He said:

“It is important for the students to acknowledge the commitment and the contribution which the private sector is already making towards the funding of higher education, which ABSA has demonstrated with this donation.

We are deeply grateful to business and industry, and the public sector for their timely response and generous contributions that have helped UJ reach its goals for the missing middle.”

Afterwards, the VC called on establishments that are yet to provide assistance to emulated those that have.

“I want to make a further appeal to other corporations for contributions to this vital cause. By giving generously to the ‘missing middle’ campaign, we are collectively building, shaping and empowering the country’s future leaders,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Treasury announced yesterday that universities and students will receive an additional 17 billion to manage the funding crisis.

About R8 billion will be channeled towards the costs of fee increases for students from households with incomes up to R600 000. And R9 billion,  towards the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

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The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training welcomed the development saying the announcement is an affirmation that government is committed to increase access to higher education for the poor.

“The increased funding means many poor students will be able to access quality higher education without having to worry about being financially excluded. Poor students and those categories, such as the missing middle, will not be paying fee increases and will benefit immensely,” stated the chairperson of the committee, Connie September.