The School of Mining Engineering has become the recipient of a R23.6-million cash infusion—most of it for new bursaries—courtesy of the Mining Qualification Authority (MQA).
Celebrating a partnership going back to 2005, the MQA handed the School of Mining Engineering a R23.6-million cheque for investments in mining education during a ceremony on Friday.
Most of the R23.6-million will provide full bursary funding—which includes tuition, accommodation and allowances—to 236 students.
In the School of Mining Engineering, 120 bursaries will be allocated. The chemical and metallurgical engineering school will receive 59 bursaries. The geology school will receive bursaries for 16 students. The other schools in engineering will have 41 students who benefit from bursaries.
“About 50% of students enrolled for mining and minerals qualification drop out of their studies due to financial constraints. Today we are here to make a small contribution towards financial assistance of these students. I hope that this partnership will continue to make a meaningful contribution in the eradication of poverty in our country,” said MQA chief financial officer Yunus Omar.
In addition to the amount provided, the MQA had already given the school R100 000 in support for the school’s program for needy and deserving students.[pullquote]”I hope that this partnership will continue to make a meaningful contribution in the eradication of poverty in our country”[/pullquote]
“We often have students who come here and say we can’t see the white board, or we don’t have food. So we then use this strategic money, in a strategic way towards needy and deserving students,” School of Mining Engineering head Prof Fred Cawood said.
“We look at the candidate; we make an assessment to see whether the money will make the difference. If the money can cause these students to pass at the end of the year, then we allocate.”
Postgraduate students in the School of Mining Engineering will also receive funding for their research projects out of the new donation to the tune of R100 000.
Vice Chancellor Adam Habib thanked the MQA for the donation and reflected on the historic challenges of economic disenfranchisement in society, stressing the need for co-operation between institutions.
“This particular partnership is testimony to what can be done…it creates hope by providing bursaries to students who are particularly disadvantaged,” Habib said.
“Not only do you provide resources for covering the training of students who do not have the resources under normal conditions, you also simultaneously create incentives for your industry. But even more importantly you create hope in society,” said Habib.