UJ ‘missing middle’ campaign surges ahead

UJ ‘missing middle’ campaign surges ahead

The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) “missing middle” students funding campaign has, in just five months, raised R147 million and thus exceeded its 2017 year-end target of R120 million, the university said on Sunday.

University of Johannesburg logo UJ

The feat came after the institution embarked on a series of fundraising initiatives, the UJ said in a statement.

One such initiative was the Future Walk on Saturday May 20, 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 R2 million was raised towards the fund.

At the time of its launch in February 2016, the campaign was the biggest fundraising campaign ever undertaken by a South African institution of higher learning. The campaign secured, in 2016, R101 million through the collective efforts of the university management, working with the UJ Council, Convocation, and Student Representative Council (SRC). As a result, the university was able to assist 3858 “missing middle” students pay tuition fees for the 2016 academic year.

“For 2017, we had set ourselves the target of raising R120 million in order to assist close to 4000 ‘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,” UJ vice chancellor and principal Ihron Rensburg said.

Although, the university had exceeded its year-end target many academically deserving “missing middle” students still required support. The average cost of funding a UJ student for a year currently stood at R85,000. This included tuition, accommodation, books, transport, and other living allowances.

“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,” Rensburg said.

“I am also deeply grateful to our council, alumni, and convocation, the UJ SRC, senior university leaders, and staff for their generous response that has 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,” he said.

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