Rhodes to raise R1 billion for students financial aid

Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor launched an ambitious student financial support initiative called Isivivane Fund in Grahamstown today. 

Isivivane Fund is a fundraising initiative which aims to raise R1 billion in 10 years. The campaign is inspired by a Nguni saying “ukuphosa itshe esivivaneni” (to throw a stone on the pile/monument) to make a personal contribution to a greater common cause.   The main goal of the initiative is to secure sufficient funding to ensure that no academically capable but financially needy student is refused entry to Rhodes University on the basis of lack of funds.

"This target reflects the harsh reality that our needs and those of our students far exceed the available resources," said Rhodes Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela.

Isivivane Fund, the biggest fundraising campaign in the history of Rhodes is a culmination of a promise that Dr Mabizela made when he was inaugurated as the Vice-Chancellor in 2015. During his inaugural speech, he made a commitment that Rhodes University would be accessible to students from poor, rural and working class families and that no academically deserving but financially needy student would be turned away from the University.

“Through this campaign, we want to make the transformative Rhodes education accessible and affordable to many academically capable young people of our country irrespective of their financial position,” said Dr Mabizela.

As one of the founding sponsors, Absa has donated R5 million to the Isivivane Fund. This fund will assist 150 academically deserving students who are faced with the challenge of funding their education as they fall outside of the NSFAS catchment - being the ‘missing middle’.

“Absa is proud to be the founding sponsor of the Rhodes University Isivivane Fund, a partnership  which seeks to make it possible for young people to fulfil their academic potential, thus enabling them to give back meaningfully to society once they graduate,” said Simphiwe Funani, Head of Absa Business Banking in the Eastern Cape.

In attendance at the launch were the recipients of the fund, staff, local business and community partners who pledged support to the fund.

 “I am grateful that many of our students and staff are already contributing in many ways in this endeavour. I challenge the entire Rhodes University community – Council members, members of our Board of Governors, academic and support staff, students, alums and friends – to make a pledge to support this campaign. I invite all of you to embark on this historic journey with us as we endeavour to make transformative quality education accessible to the many young people of our country,” Mabizela said.

Source:  Communications

Please help us to raise funds so that we can give all our students a chance to access online teaching and learning. Covid-19 has disrupted our students' education.  Don't let the digital divide put their future at risk. Visit www.ru.ac.za/rucoronavirusgateway to donate