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Saturday, July 1, 2017


Absa Bank has announced that University of Zululand is receiving R5 million scholarship funds to empower students to pursue their studies in commerce, humanities, engineering, science and technology for the current academic year.
The Absa Scholarship Fund forms part of the Education and Skills Development pillar of the bank’s Shared Growth strategy through which it has undertaken to invest R1.4 billion in education and skills training until 2018. Shared Growth strategy has three pillars namely Education and Skills Development, Enterprise Development and Financial Inclusion, which aims to create shared value for communities and stakeholders.

Faisal Mkhize, Absa Provincial Managing Executive in KwaZulu-Natal, said "University education unlocks opportunities that can change the lives of young people and the future of KwaZulu-Natal. This is an expression of our Shared Growth commitment to help realise the province’s potential and contribute to its long term economic growth. This investment to University of Zululand has been made possible by the hard work and dedication of colleagues in our business and I am proud of their commitment to making a visible difference in the lives of thousands of young people.”

Speaking at the handover ceremony at the University of Zululand, Vice-Chancellor Professor Xolile Mtose says: “Absa’s funds will assist us in closing off the short-fall in respect to assisting undergraduate students. This is a generous contribution our deserving students. While we have enjoyed a relationship with Absa over the years, this is an investment to create an enabling environment for our students to succeed academically.”

Chairman of the University of Zululand Foundation Dupreez Vilakazi, said: “Absa understands the needs of our students especially at undergraduate level. We will be good stewards of this gift and nurture the relationship with the bank.”

University of Zululand will use a combination of academic performance and financial need, to identify qualifying students and disburse the funds. Many of the qualifying students either have very limited financial resources or fall within the category of students whose parents or guardians can only afford to pay a portion of the required university fees. Successful applicants will also benefit from the leadership and psycho-social support offered by the programme.

The Education and Skills Development commitment from Absa also includes the support of about 34 Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges as part of the Department of Higher Education’s Adopt a TVET programme; Strategic University  support, focused on research and capacity development initiatives; School Governing Body training in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, and ReadytoWork, a flagship free skills development programme to give young people range of work, money, people and entrepreneurial skills to enhance their employment and self-employment prospects.

Faisal says: “In order to achieve financial inclusion as part of our Shared Growth Strategy, we have a set of retail banking products that include a competitively designed student loan scheme and a free youth banking product with a comprehensive education and youth services.”